DUI Checkpoints

Sobriety Checkpoints photo DUI checkpoints are used throughout California to find and arrest drunk drivers. These checkpoints are commonly found on the highways or surface streets. If the symptoms of a DUI are noticed, the driver will be requested to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests at the scene.

The United States Supreme Court found in the case of Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S., 444 (190) that DUI checkpoints do not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and sobriety checkpoints outweighed the constitutional rights of the individual citizen. It was ruled that interests of government in identifying DUI drivers, reducing the fatalities overturned, the intrusion of human privacy rights, and sobriety checkpoints, were acceptable.

DUI lawyers must consider the accuracy and adequacy of the procedures employed. Chief Justice Rehnquist has acknowledged that there should be some “guidelines” in place to conduct a sobriety test in a permissible manner. The California Supreme Court put forward the best safeguards required for the sobriety checkpoint to comply with the Constitution. Ingersoll v. Palmer, 743 P.2d 1299 (Cal. 1987).


The following resources contain more information on where the find DUI checkpoints near you:


What is the Purpose of DUI Checkpoints? The theoretical purpose of DUI sobriety checkpoints is to detect and apprehend drunk drivers. However, this has proven to be, in fact, secondary to other purposes -- such as a dragnet to raise revenue from citations for traffic, license, registration and equipment violations. See "DUI Roadblocks for Fun and Profit". Another primary purpose has been a deterrent one -- that is, to simply deter people from driving. See "Police Department Explains Real Purpose of DUI Roadblocks: Shock and Awe".

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