Is An Officer Ever Allowed To Search My Car At A DUI Checkpoint?
If someone gets arrested for DUI at a checkpoint and a sober driver is not able to take the car that the individual was driving, then the officers will conduct an inventory search of the vehicle before it gets towed. Officers claim that these searches are done in order to protect the driver’s property and to ensure their own as well as the tow truck driver’s safety by making sure there is nothing hazardous or explosive in the vehicle.
What Are Possible Defenses To DUI Charges Stemming From DUI Checkpoints?
Possible defenses to DUI charges stemming from DUI checkpoints include arguing that the Ingersoll elements or other requirements were not met. If officers were not systematically stopping vehicles and were profiling people instead, then that could be used as a defense. Lack of publication of notice, as well as a checkpoint that was located in an area without any documented prior issues with DUIs could be used as defenses. In the defense of DUI checkpoint cases, it is helpful to be able to demonstrate more than one example of how the officers did not comply with the sobriety checkpoint rules.
Are DUI Checkpoints Negotiable With The DA If They Are At Or Above The Legal Limit?
If the alcohol level was close to the legal limit of 0.08, then the DA in most counties will negotiate the DUI to a lesser offense, such as a wet reckless; the higher the alcohol level the less likely they are to negotiate the charge. Since people who are driving up to a checkpoint have to slow their vehicle, officers are usually unable to point to poor driving as evidence of impairment, which weakens their cases and makes it more difficult for them to win at jury trials.
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