Two States are considering the legality of DUI checkpoints. Unfortunately, California is not one of them. In Utah a Bill will soon be considered that would completely ban DUI checkpoints. It is sponsored by Utah state Representative David Butterfield. His belief is that DUI checkpoints violate citizens rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
In New Hampshire, lawmakers are also considering the issues surrounding the legality of checkpoints. The concern is that checkpoints violate citizens civil rights and lead to due process violations. New Hampshire is considering preventing the police from setting up DUI checkpoints.
In California, DUI checkpoints are considred by their supporters to deter drunk driving and promote public safety. Checkpoints are legal so long as they follow certain guidelines. The guidelines are intended to require the police to publish their intention to set up a checkpoint and require that the location is chosen with public safety in mind. In addition, the checkpoint should be adequately sign posted and lit. Ideally, there should be an escape route for motorists approaching the checkpoint. There should be a pre-arranged criteria on the frequency of vehicle stops and a limit on field officer discretion on which vehicles to stop. The time spent on stopping vehicles should be brief to prevent undue inconvenience to motorists.
Some police agencies in Southern California prefer to spend resources on stepping up patrols as this tends to lead to more DUI arrests and prosecutions than DUI checkpoints.
If you have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint and arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, please call DUI defense lawyers Gold & Witham for a free consultation.