DUI Road Blocks

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every day approximately 28 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This sobering statistic has legislation and police departments taking more steps to stop drivers from driving under the influence.

The Sobriety/DUI checkpoints are one of these initiatives.  A Sobriety/DUI checkpoint is a shortstop where drivers are detained and interviewed. These checkpoints are used as a means for police to check tags, licenses, the inside of vehicles, and the driver’s breath. If a driver is seen as suspicious, they will be subjected to sobriety tests and possibly arrested.  Although the goal of this initiative is to have safer roads, checkpoints may also ensnare people who have not been drinking and driving.

Recently, the Berwyn Police Department has been setting records for DUI citations in part to their Sobriety/DUI checkpoints. However, these checkpoints have raised eyebrows for possible allegations of misconduct by the Berwyn Police Department. The Chicago Tribune has reported that officers during these stops were not following the federal guidelines and as a result, made more contact with drivers than they might have otherwise.  Furthermore, high-ranking officials named the patrol a “flexible” roadside check instead of the typical practice of picking a neutral criterion such as stopping every third or fifth car.  According to IDOT spokesman, Tridgell, the stops in Berwyn would not have fit the definition of a flexible (roadside check), when we did support them.

Although sobriety checkpoints are legal in Illinois under People v. Bartley, 486 N.E.2d 880 (Ill. 1985), drivers retain rights during these checkpoints. Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, motorists have the right to deny unreasonable searches and seize unless the officer has probable cause. Officers are also required to follow the guidelines stipulated by the National Highway Transportation Board and have to publicize the checkpoints ahead of time.

If you or a loved one are arrested for impaired driving, you may need an experienced DUI lawyer. The Law Office of Edward Johnson has skilled attorneys specialized in defending drunk driving charges from being stopped in DUI Road Blocks. Call our office today at 708-606-4386

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