DWI/DUI roadblocks and checkpoints are temporarily set up by local law enforcement to randomly screen drivers for drunk driving. They are very controversial as many question the legality of these roadblocks/checkpoints. Are DWI/DUI roadblocks and checkpoints legal?
The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment does not allow law enforcement officers to unreasonably perform search and seizure acts. Since DWI/DUI roadblocks and checkpoints are a suspicionless investigation, some argue that it is unconstitutional and intrusive upon each American’s individual liberties.
However, it was decided that these sobriety checkpoints are necessary to protect American citizens from drunk drivers, and thus the minimal infringement on an individual’s rights are outweighed by states’ interest in protecting its citizens.. The U.S. Supreme Court allows each individual state to create its own laws regarding DWI/DUI roadblocks and checkpoints.
Therefore, DWI/DUI roadblocks and checkpoints are legal in 38 states to help reduce drunk and impaired driving. Twelve states have deemed sobriety checkpoints illegal in some form or another, including Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Louisiana is one of the states that does allow law enforcement officers to utilize sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks. It is common to see checkpoints during times when drunk driving increases, such as holidays. The Louisiana Supreme Court mandates that the police follow strict adherence to guidelines ensuring the checkpoints are minimally intrusive. If the police don’t follow the proper procedures for operating checkpoints, then your DUI/DWI charge can often be successfully challenged.
Just like if you were pulled over for a DUI or DWI, you need to know your rights. A police officer will inform you of your Miranda rights only after you have been arrested, and it’s important to know that everything you say can be used against you in court.
If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and refuse a breathalyzer or another chemical sobriety test and then later charged with and DUI/DWI, your license will be suspended subject to an appeals process. Just like if you were stopped for a DUI by a police officer, you consent to a breathalyzer or another chemical test simply by driving on public roads.
If you see a DWI/DUI checkpoint, you can legally turn your car around to avoid it. However, if you do turn around and the police observe this, then this can be enough for police to have reasonable suspicion and detain you for further investigation of possible impairment.
If you received a charge after being stopped at a DWI/DUI roadblock, fight your charge with a lawyer. Since these sobriety roadblocks are very controversial, you may be able to win a case against it. Law enforcement officers have to ensure that they don’t infringe on the liberties of the driver, and you may be able to prove that this happened in your case.
Even though many states allow sobriety checkpoints, American citizens continue to fight the legality of these temporary roadblocks. Sometimes, checkpoints are even protested, and people can see charges dismissed with proper evidence.
If you were charged with a DUI or DWI at a sobriety checkpoint, you still have rights and can hire legal representation to make sure that justice is upheld in your case. There are many details to DWI/DUI cases, especially when a sobriety roadblock is involved, so you may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
The Johnson Firm is skilled at knowing the ins and outs of the laws surrounding sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks. If your case involved a DWI/DUI checkpoint, don’t worry – we will help you fight to reduce or eliminate your charges and penalties.
Whether it is license suspension from the refusal of a chemical sobriety test, a DUI/DWI, or something else, our team is here to help. We understand that these convictions can affect your future, and want to make sure you get the best result possible for your case.
The Johnson Firm is ready to hear about your case. If you need a top Lake Charles DWI/DUI lawyer for a charge you received at a sobriety checkpoint, look no further than The Johnson Firm for guidance throughout the legal process and success in your case.
Call 337-427-8961 or send us a message now to get in touch with our team and schedule your consultation!