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DUI checkpoints could result in DUI arrest

Dale Gribow April 9, 2015

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10,000 people were killed in accidents involving drivers who were under the influence of alcohol in 2012. In fact, drunk driving accidents cost more than $59 billion a year and lead to one death every 51 minutes. For that reason, many state officials are insistent on cutting down on impaired drivers on the California roadways.Officials take various measures to try to catch as many drunk drivers as possible. Officers may stop motorists if they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to do so. Additionally, many law enforcement officers enforce the .08 Blood Alcohol Content limits by using sobriety checkpoints. While these are noble efforts, they often leave unsuspecting, and oftentimes innocent, drivers facing serious criminal allegations.

These checkpoints give officers a way to determine a driver’s level of impairment. California, along with many other states, set up these checkpoints during major drinking holidays, such as the Fourth of July. Even though drivers are stopped at random intervals (i.e. every tenth driver), sobriety checkpoints are still legal due to the fact that the state’s concern for public safety trumps concern for driver privacy.If a driver is arrested for a DUI as a result of one of these checkpoint stops, the arresting officer will take away their license immediately. If he is found guilty, the driver may face license suspension, alcohol treatment programs, fines and even jail time. However, there is a set protocol for running a DUI checkpoint. If the checkpoint is not conducted lawfully, a defendant may have a solid defense available to protect himself from these consequences.