Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Articles DUI Checkpoints & Roadblocks

DUI Checkpoints & Roadblocks

By Thomas & Paulk  Oct. 11, 2010 4:09p

DUI Checkpoints – Are They Legal?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. To conduct a lawful search, state or federal law enforcement must first establish probable cause. This means that the law enforcement agent must have reasonable grounds, based upon more than just a suspicion that criminal activity has occurred or is currently occurring in order to conduct a search of a person or make an arrest.

How does this apply to DUI roadblocks? Are law enforcement agencies lawfully able to stop, search and arrest drivers at checkpoints? The officers at these checkpoints have not observed a driver violate a traffic law or exhibit other driving behavior that would indicate intoxication, yet they are able to stop drivers and potentially perform field sobriety tests to determine whether particular drivers are currently operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Generally speaking, DUI checkpoints have been declared constitutional – in certain circumstances and when carried out in accordance with state and/or federal regulations. The lawfulness of your stop at a roadblock or checkpoint may therefore be in question depending on the particular situation. That is why we recommend involving a DUI lawyer at our law firm as soon as possible in the wake of an arrest that resulted from a DUI checkpoint in the Tampa area. With our legal knowledge, our resources and our understanding of case law and legislation that applies to drunk driving roadblocks, we are confident in our ability to properly evaluate your case and protect your legal rights.

Because DUI checkpoints are somewhat of a grey area in the field of criminal defense, it will take a thorough evaluation and investigation of your unique case to determine whether your constitutional rights were violated in any way.

To learn more about how we can help you, contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today for a confidential consultation. 

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