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DUI Checkpoints

DUI Checkpoint Defense – The Law Office of Michael Rehm

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DUI Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints are used by police departments to randomly check cars to locate persons driving under the influence. However, DUI checkpoints are highly regulated by constitutional law standards. Relevant case law such as Ingersoll v Palmer, 43 C3d 1321 (1987) and Michigan Department of State Police v Sitz, 496 US 444 (1990), set out guidelines which must be followed by law enforcement when conducting checkpoints. The following requirements must be satisfied to pass constitutional muster:

  1. Location in a reasonable area
  2. Reasonable time and duration
  3. Reasonableness in the length of time drivers are detained
  4. Indication that the checkpoint is an official police act
  5. Supervisory decision making
  6. Safe conditions for drivers
  7. Limited discretionary power for officers in the field

In some cases, in California it may be necessary for police departments to notify the public prior to carrying out a sobriety checkpoint as per People v Banks, 6 C4th 926 (1993).  Even if the following has been satisfied, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Indianapolis v, Edmond 531 U.S. 32 (2000), that the intent of the checkpoint has to be to promote road safety. The intent cannot be to arrest people for driving under the influence.

Challenging a sobriety checkpoint would occur by filing a Motion To Suppress Evidence. Your Sacramento County DUI Attorney would cross-examine the Commanding officer of the checkpoint to determine whether the checkpoint was conducted in A Constitutionally approved manner. If it was not, the evidence obtained at the checkpoint and subsequent to the detention should be suppressed. This is generally all of the evidence in the case, which would lead to a dismissal.

Michael Rehm understands the law surrounding DUI Checkpoints. For more information on the law in this area, contact DUI Lawyer Michael Rehm for a free consultation at (916) 233-7346


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