DUI Checkpoints in Aliso Viejo

DUI checkpoints also known as ‘sobriety checkpoints’, ‘roadblocks’ or ‘mobile checkpoints’, are random and temporary police stops meant to find drivers who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They are set in public places where the officers maintain a roadblock in order to detain them and determine whether or not drivers are intoxicated. When a driver is stopped, the officers at one of these sobriety checkpoints are looking for a number of signs to indicate if the operator of the vehicle is under the influence. These signs include smells of alcohol, inability to answer the officer’s questions, slurred speech, or fumbling. If there are questions concerning the driver’s ability to safely and effectively operate their vehicle, then a drunk driving investigation will be had. During this, the officer might perform field sobriety tests or even commence a DUI mouth swab test.

Isn’t Probable Cause Necessary for a Traffic Stop?

According to the U.S. constitution, although probable cause is necessary for a traffic stop, the U.S constitution provides exceptions for the search and seizure provisions required for DUI checkpoints. The idea behind the exceptions is that the intrusion is necessary if it is going to prevent the dangers of drunk driving. However, there are many legal requirements that all California DUI checkpoints must abide by in order to make sure that it is following the guidelines set by our Constitution.

In as much as the effectiveness of DUI Check Points has been questioned and as their legitimacy has been challenged in courts, they are legal in the city of Aliso Viejo and in the state of California.

Guidelines for a DUI Checkpoint

Through guidelines provided by the National Highway Safety Transportation Board, Patrol officers should only set up DUI checkpoints under the following conditions:

  • The reasons for stopping a motorist should be neutral
  • Operational decisions should be made by supervising officers
  • The location of the DUI checkpoints should be reasonable
  • The DUI checkpoints should be publicly advertised
  • The time and duration of the DUI checkpoint should be reasonable
  • Satisfactory safety precautions should be taken when setting up the DUI checkpoint and
  • The motorists should be detained for a minimal amount of time

If requirements such as the ones mentioned are not followed by a California DUI checkpoint, then any drivers arrested at such a checkpoint may be able to defend against the charges against them. It is of utmost importance that there is a balance maintained between the state’s involvement in helping halt drunk driving and also the negative effect it may have on the individual and personal rights of the motorists. However, it is important to note that California DUI checkpoints only have the potential to violate some constitutional rights when the strict regulations and guidelines are not being followed.

Once stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you should expect to be briefly detained and interviewed so that the police can decide whether you need further sobriety tests to determine whether you are driving under the influence.

Contact Johnson Criminal Law Group if you were stopped and arrested for driving under the influence at checkpoint today.

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