Our readers may not be aware of it, but police are bound by very specific procedures when it comes to sobriety checkpoints.
Thirty people are currently fighting charges of DUI stemming from a DUI checkpoint after a LSU/Alabama football game last November. According to sources, the checkpoint was set up on Ben Hur Avenue near campus that day. More than 15,000 checks were made at the checkpoint, 57 tests were administered, and 30 DUI arrests were made.
Two of the 30 people facing DUI charges recently had hearings to determine whether they could get their driver’s licenses back due to a hardship. Their attorney reportedly said during the hearing that he believes there may be constitutional issues with the checkpoint.
According to the attorney, the proper procedure for establishing checkpoints was not followed that night. The criminal portion of the offenses will be held mostly in Baton Rouge City Court
Baton Rouge Police have refused to comment on any individual cases made during the check point, but they do maintain that the cases were properly handled.
Because police are bound to abide by very particular requirements with sobriety checkpoints, it is important for those charged with DUI stemming from a checkpoint stop look into the legality of the proceeding. In many cases, they are conducted legally, but not always. In the latter cases, defendants may have the ability to achieve a better outcome in their case because of the violation.
Those who feel they have been subjected to an illegal checkpoint, or any other search or seizure, should contact an experienced attorney.
Source: wafb.com, “LSU-Alabama DUI checkpoint begins legal battle,” Amber Stegall, March 13, 2013