DUI Checkpoints / Sobriety Roadblocks

Defending Clients Who Have Been Randomly Stopped for DUI Testing

Random checkpoints are a popular tactic for identifying alleged drunk drivers and charging them with DUI. The California Supreme Court has adopted strict standards that police must follow when conducting these roadblocks to avoid violating people’s constitutional rights.

At The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson in San Mateo, California, our DUI defense attorneys have helped thousands of clients fight drunk driving charges. If you have been arrested at a sobriety roadblock, we can help you determine whether your arrest was legal.  Call us today at  650-573-8000 for your free DUI defense consultation.

Did the Police Follow the Rules for Conducting a Roadblock?

The police can set up DUI checkpoints at any time, but they are most common during holiday seasons and generally scheduled for the late evening, when people are likely to be driving home from restaurants or other locations where they may have been drinking.

DUI roadblocks are an exception to the general rule of probable cause. The following are some of the requirements that police departments in California must follow at these checkpoints:

  • Justification for a roadblock: There must be a valid public safety reason for the police to set up a roadblock. This decision must be approved at a higher level within the police department; field officers are not allowed to set up roadblocks on their own initiative.
  • Availability of an escape route: It is unconstitutional to trap people in DUI checkpoints. These checkpoints must be clearly marked, and drivers must have a realistic opportunity to avoid them without making illegal U-turns or doing anything else unlawful.
  • Neutral formula for stopping vehicles: The police must follow a random formula such as stopping every car or every third car. Officers cannot stop people at checkpoints based on their own subjective observations.

If you have been charged with drunk driving after you were stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer. To schedule a free consultation, call us at  650-573-8000 or send us an e-mail.

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The Law Offices of Michael L. Davidson
411 Borel Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402

Phone: 650-573-8000
Fax: 650-345-9875
San Mateo Law Office