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DUI Checkpoints – Know Your Rights


In this short video, Robert Ernenwein, a South Bay DUI Attorney with 30+ years of experience defending clients accused of DUI, discusses DUI Checkpoints. We discuss:

  • Are DUI Checkpoints legal?
  • Can I challenge what happens at a DUI Checkpoint?
  • What does the government require of the Police when they setup a DUI Checkpoint?
  • Can you find problems with the DUI Checkpoint that we can use in our defense?

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Transcript – DUI Checkpoints – Know Your Rights

So, you or a loved one has gone through a DUI checkpoint, perhaps been arrested at a DUI checkpoint, and you’re interested in and wondering about was it legal, is there a possible challenge to the checkpoint that my lawyer might be able to employ to help me.

Well, you have to start with the case called “Ingersoll versus Palmer”, a US Supreme Court case in 1990 that said there are limits to sobriety checkpoints and to DUI checkpoints:

  • There has to be decision-making at a supervisory level.
  • There have to be limits on the discretion of the field officers.
  • They have to be stopping, for example, every third, fourth or fifth car.
  • There has to be the maintenance of safety conditions or reasonable location.
  • The time and the duration must be set.
  • There must be indicia or signs showing the official nature of the roadblock.
  • The length and the nature of the detention must not be over burdensome – it can’t be too long and there must be advanced publicity.

Now, these factors have been watered down and it has been suggested many cases that there does not have to be absolute adherence to all these factors. But it’s very important in the DUI checkpoint that your lawyer, and this is what we do, we get the checkpoint package which includes all the official documents relative to the checkpoint and then we’re very careful about looking at that to see whether or not we can attack the constitutionality of the checkpoint. Or perhaps indicate to the prosecutor that there could be some problems with the checkpoint and then get a significant reduction of the charge.

So, that’s a brief synopsis of the law as it relates to DUI and DUI checkpoints. Thank you so much for listening.

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