Sobriety Checkpoints in Los Angeles
If you have been arrested for driving under the Influence or “DUI” after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, it is important that you consult an experienced attorney immediately. Our firm’s drunk driving lawyers will advise you on defense strategies to a case involving a DUI investigation stemming from a sobriety checkpoint.
Working with an attorney who is experienced with driving under the influence roadblocks and checkpoints is a crucial part of your defense. An experienced DUI lawyer may be able to build a successful defense for you in proving that the checkpoint you were stopped at may have violated the balance between individual fourth amendment rights and the need for a checkpoint. With the correct evidence in your favor, your attorney may be able to prove that you were stopped, or subjected to testing, unfairly.
Sobriety checkpoints, or DUI roadblocks, are set up in order to regulate the number of drunk drivers in Los Angeles. The implementation of these checkpoints has been controversial due to their possible infringement upon fourth amendment rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution. However, in 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints were constitutional when the intrusion on the individual’s rights is rightly weighed with the effectiveness of the roadblock.
Police officers may set up a roadblock and stop drivers as a means of a sobriety checkpoint, as long as certain factors are met:
- Public must be given notice of the checkpoint
- There must be a turnout prior to the checkpoint so that people who do not want to proceed through it have the option to turn around. These people cannot be pulled over based solely on their decision to not to proceed through the checkpoint.
- There must be a random, impartial formula for stopping cars (such as every 4th car, etc.)
- Safety conditions must be monitored at the checkpoint
- The length and nature of the detention must not be obtrusive
- The location must be reasonable, as well as the time and day
These are just some of the things that must be proven by the prosecutor to uphold a checkpoint arrest.
At the checkpoint, the officers will look for certain signs of driving under the influence, giving them cause to subject you to field sobriety tests and possibly a blood, or breath test:
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Poor coordination
- Inability to follow directions
- Open containers of alcohol in the vehicle
- The odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath
Los Angeles DUI Attorneys at Eisner Gorin LLP
Our lawyers specialize in an aggressive courtroom defense to DUI charges, including challenging the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints. Our law firm attorneys have decades of combined courtroom experience. We have worked as both prosecutors and defense attorneys, giving us a unique advantage over many other lawyers. We also understand California’s state-specific laws regarding DUI and sobriety checkpoints and can use this knowledge to your benefit. If you were arrested and charged with DUI, please contact our offices at (877) 781-1570 or use online contact form.