Providing Warning for Sobriety Checkpoints
In the case Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the US Supreme Court upheld the right of police departments to use sobriety checkpoints. Police departments have widely used these checkpoints as a means to identify and arrest intoxicated drivers. However, there are some regulations regarding these checkpoints and how they are operated that must be met in order for them to be considered constitutional. In particular, drivers must be warned in advance of the presence of a sobriety checkpoint.
Checkpoint Warning Tactics
One of the major reasons the court permitted sobriety checkpoints was the minimal intrusion they pose to the average driver. An established pre-checkpoint warning is a major part of maintaining this lack of intrusion. Officers are expected to set up some of the following warning systems regarding a sobriety checkpoint:
- Portable lights if necessary
- Road flares
- Lighted signs
- Safety cones
It is important that these signs and warnings give motorists an idea of why they are being stopped and that they display an official police presence. If these sites are not run properly, they may be considered excessively intrusive.
If you have been charged with DUI after going through a sobriety checkpoint, there may be ways for you to fight the charges. For more information regarding your legal options, contact an Arizona DUI lawyer with Thompson & Volquardsen, P.C., at 602-510-9999 today.