DUI checkpoints are used by law enforcement to catch drivers who are operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While the Supreme Court has ruled in support of their constitutionality, this does not mitigate your rights as a citizen when it comes to encountering a DUI checkpoint. Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. has helped numerous clients contend with the legal ramifications of DUI charges stemming from one of these checkpoints.
As a top Pennsylvania DUI lawyer, we have an extensive background in DUI law and can offer clear guidance on how to exercise your rights where checkpoints like this are concerned.
What is a Pennsylvania DUI Checkpoint?
A DUI checkpoint is characterized by a stationary roadblock set up by a law enforcement agency to catch drivers operating their vehicles under the influence. Officers make brief stops of each vehicle that goes through the checkpoint to check for signs of intoxication and use a predetermined set of guidelines in determining who to stop.
Checkpoints are typically set up in areas where drunk driving has been known to be an issue. They are advertised well in advance so that drivers can decide on whether to go through it or not.
What are the Rules of a Pennsylvania DUI Checkpoint
When law enforcement sets up a DUI checkpoint, there are certain rules they must follow.
- The stop must be brief and cannot inherently include a physical search.
- There must be ample warning of the presence of the checkpoint.
- The decision to implement a checkpoint must have prior administrative approval.
- The time and place designated for the checkpoint must align with areas rife with past DUI-related incidents.
- The decision regarding which vehicles will be stopped must meet predetermined, objective standards and must not be at the discretion of officers on the scene.
The reason these rules are in place is to ensure that the checkpoint process is a fair and legal one. By applying sets of predetermined rules, law enforcement is limited to using the checkpoint for its core purpose and not to stop any and every vehicle without cause.
What to Do If Your Rights Have Been Violated
If you are asked to take a field sobriety test or preliminary breath test at a DUI checkpoint, Pennsylvania law gives you the right to refuse. Moreover, if police ask for anything more than your name, license, registration, and proof of insurance, you have the right to refuse to answer. The more information you provide, the more likely you are to incriminate yourself.
A Pennsylvania DUI lawyer can guide you through the process of combatting evidence obtained during an unlawful stop at a DUI checkpoint. The team at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. will provide you with options regarding your DUI case and provide legal defense strategies that may help with an optimal case outcome.
If Your Rights Have Been Ignored at a DUI Checkpoint, Consult with a Top Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer
When law enforcement officers fail to follow the rules when stopping drivers at DUI checkpoints, they should be held accountable for their unlawful actions. As a citizen, you should not be forced to pay the price for law enforcement’s mishandling of the situation and we will work with you to make sure that does not happen. Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. has a reputation for helping those charged with DUI after being unlawfully stopped and/or searched at a checkpoint.