In Pennsylvania, How Do DUI Checkpoints Work?
In most states, including Pennsylvania, DUI checkpoints are set up in an attempt to catch inebriated drivers prior to having a reason to make a stop - i.e. probable cause. But wait, isn't probable cause required to make a traffic stop? Generally, yes, but the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the dangers of drunk driving to the public outweigh this relatively minor intrusion, creating an exception in the case of DUI checkpoints.
Checkpoints are deployed when set up by police at a pre-determined temporary - and publicized - location. Here the police use roadblocks to slow traffic and briefly detain drivers. Those they believe to be suspicious after an interview will be asked to pull over, exit their vehicle, and submit to field sobriety testing (the answers to most questions regarding field sobriety testing can be found at Click here
Since the United States Supreme Court recognizes that people have a right to unreasonable search and seizure, the Court has placed strict controls over how police can operate a checkpoint. In order to set up a checkpoint, police must have a plan of action, which includes a predetermined location, and the rationale behind setting up the checkpoint in that location. For example, if police set up a checkpoint, but do not have data to show that DUIs and accidents have occurred in the area, then consequently the checkpoint may be invalid and unconstitutional.
If the police determine that the stopped individual is in fact intoxicated, the individual will be placed under arrest and will be charged with DUI with the same consequences as a person pulled over under normal conditions.
There are many intricacies in the rules and procedures for a sobriety checkpoint. An attorney can tell you whether you can effectively fight a DUI checkpoint. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. handles DUI matters throughout the Commonwealth and can help you.. Call today to schedule an entirely free consultation with one of our DUI attorneys.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.