Are DUI checkpoints legal?

DUI Checkpoints

Question:  Are DUI checkpoints legal?  I was pulled over at a DUI checkpoint in Woodland Hills the other night and the whole thing seems wrong.  Don’t I have a right to privacy?  Don’t they need some kind of cause or reason to pull me over?  How can they pull me over just because they set up a road block?

After I was stopped at the DUI checkpoint, the officer asked me if I had been drinking.  I told them I had, so they had me go to another officer who asked me more questions.  I then complied with what they were asking and did field sobriety tests.  Then I did a breath test.

I have no other DUI’s other than this one.  Other than a couple parking tickets over the years, my record is clean.  Can the DUI charges be dismissed because I didn’t drive bad?  Simply happened to drive through the street where they were doing the DUI checks?

Answer: DUI checkpoints can be legal, if law enforcement meets certain standards. They don’t always meet those standards though, and it is a good defense when they don’t.  If the DUI checkpiont is not found to be legal, and the stop not valid, then everything else that occured after that stop can be suppressed.  In DUI checkpoint cases when that happens, it generally leads to a dismissal of all charges.

Even if the DUI checkpoint passes muster, there are other ways to get the DUI charges dimissed or reduced to a lesser offense.  One good start to defending a DUI that was based on a DUI checkpoint is, there was no poor driving witnessed by the officer unless you drove into or through cones or something of that nature.  Poor driving is one of the things that prosecutors try to use to establish driving under the influence.  That is generally not an issue in DUI checkpoint cases.

Whatever the situation is, call me to talk about it, and I can answer other questions you have.  At the end of the day, it is a good idea to have a DUI Lawyer defending you against DUI charges.

Phil Hache
DUI and Criminal Defense lawyer; Van Nuys Court, San Fernando Court, Santa Clarita Court, Southern California courts