1.29.2013

Sobriety Checkpoints and their Legality in the US - Law - Criminal Law

Sobriety Checkpoints are designed to catch impaired drivers with a sort of road block where police officers randomly stop and breathalyze drivers as they pass through. Generally these types of checkpoints are very effective in convicting drivers who are impaired which is why despite controversy over the matter they are still considered legal. The controversy surrounding sobriety checkpoints is related to the fact that some people believe that they are unconstitutional.A Lakewood DUI attorney may argue that sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional because it violates the 4th Amendment that states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Due to the fact that sobriety checkpoints are don e at random they are also done without a probable cause. A Lakewood DUI attorney may also point out that sobriety checkpoints are considered to be unreasonable search and seizure since authorities do not have a solid reason to breathalyze drivers at a road block. Authorities are coming to the conclusion that there are impaired drivers on the road amongst other unimpaired drivers so to get impaired drivers off of the road they are stopping all the drivers without a probable cause or reason to search.In 1990 in the case, Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz the Michigan Supreme court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional. Later the United States Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional if they are carried out properly. To help ease the controversy over the issue of sobriety checkpoints there are many legal guidelines in place that authorities are required to adhere to. Because of the obvious loophole that sobriety checkpoints are c onsidered to be in violation of the constitution it may be possible for a Lakewood DUI attorney to fight a case where someone got a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint. If you have any further questions about DUI checkpoints in Los Angeles or Orange Counties, please be sure to check out this helpful website for free legal questions and answers directly from local Southern California attorneys.





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