DUI checkpoint, otherwise known as a "roadblock" is a situation
where law enforcement briefly detains drivers in order to weed out any
impaired drivers. The purpose of sobriety checkpoints is to keep the roads safer.
Are sobriety checkpoints legal in California? Yes, they are. These police
traffic stops are often set up in areas where there has been a high volume
of drunk driving arrests or accidents, or they are set up during holidays
such as Thanksgiving or New Year's – times when there is expected
to be an increase in drunk driving.
Sobriety checkpoints must meet this criteria:
- A supervising officer makes all major decisions
- All roadblocks are publicly advertised in advance
- Motorists are stopped in a neutral fashion
- The drivers are detained for a limited amount of time
- The checkpoint is set up in a reasonable location
What to Expect at a Checkpoint
If you drive into a sobriety checkpoint, you will be detained for a few
minutes and interviewed. If the officer suspects that you have been drinking,
you will be asked to perform a series of roadside "field sobriety
tests." If you perform poorly on these tests, the next step is having
you submit to a preliminary breath test, which tests your blood alcohol
The constitutionality of roadblocks has fallen under scrutiny, however,
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the dangers of drunk driving outweigh
the intrusion involved in DUI checkpoints. In effect, sobriety checkpoints
are exempt from the search and seizure provisions covered in the Constitution.
After the Supreme Court's ruling, the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) went ahead and issued standard guidelines for police
to use when conducting a sobriety checkpoint.
Arrested for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint?
Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.
at once to challenge your DUI charges!