California DUI Checkpoint Basics
What You Need To know If You Were Stopped In Riverside
There are 8 key factors that determine whether a California DUI Checkpoint
There must be
decision making at the supervisory level. This means that the selection of the site and the procedures for the
checkpoint must be made and established by a supervisor and not an individual
officer in the field.
There must be
limits of discretion of field officers. A neutral formula must be determined to eliminate an officer in the field
stopping cars at his or her discretion.
There must be
maintenance of safety conditions. Proper lighting, warning signs and signals, and clearly identifiable
personnel are required.
reasonable location must be selected. A reasonable location is one in which best achieves
the government's interest such as having a high degree of alcohol
and driving related incidents.
time and duration of the checkpoint must be done at a time, which would prove most effective;
i.e. during the evening and early morning hours.
There should be indicia
of official nature of roadblock. This means that there must be signs, flashing lights, adequate lighting,
police vehicles and uniformed police officers indicating the reason for
length and nature of the detention must be that which minimizes the intrusiveness of the stop. The length
of the stop should be done only long enough to determine whether the driver
has alcohol on the breath, slurred speech and glassy or bloodshot eyes.
The checkpoint must have
advance publicity. They do not however have to publicize the precise location but should
reduce fear and inconvenience for the public.
What to do if you have to go through a California DUI Checkpoint
If you see a checkpoint ahead there may be a legal way to avoid the checkpoint.
If properly identified as a sobriety checkpoint, the roadblock will have
signs and flashing lights that notify motorists well in advance of the
actual stop. You do not have to go through the checkpoint if there is
a way to make a legal turn. Do not make an illegal U-turn or try to avoid
the checkpoint by violating a traffic law. This will draw unwanted attention
to your vehicle and gives an officer the right to pull you over on the
traffic violation. Do not make unsafe movements such as jerky swerving
or fast maneuvers that could put you or other drivers in harms way.
If you do have to go through the checkpoint the officer will likely ask
you for your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance.
Officers are trained that fumbling for these documents is a sign of impairment.
When stopped obtain the documents calmly. Do not be argumentative or combative
with the officer.
Sobriety checkpoints are put into place to check for motorists operating
under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as motorists operating
a vehicle without a license. If you do not have a valid license you may
be charged with California Vehicle Code section 12500 – driving
without a license or California Vehicle Code 14601 – driving on
a suspended license.
After reviewing your license and registration the officer will ask you
a series of screening questions such as "Where are you coming from?"
"Where are you headed?" and "How much have you had to drink?"
During this screening the officer is looking to see if you have red, bloodshot
eyes, slurred speech or if you smell of alcohol. The officer may also
be conducting a visual search of the vehicle for drug paraphernalia. If
the officer believes that you are driving under the influence the officer
will ask you to pull to the side and step out of the vehicle. You will
be asked to do a number of
Field Sobriety Tests including a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test to help the officer
determine if you are too impaired to drive. If you are over the legal
limit or the officer believes that you are impaired, you will be arrested
and your car will be impounded.
The best way to avoid an arrest at a DUI Checkpoint is to not drink and
drive. You can also take a cab or use a car service such as UBER. If you
are arrested for driving under the influence or for a driver's license
violation, you need to act quickly to preserve your rights. You only have
10 calendar days from the date of arrest to request an administrative
per se hearing to stop the automatic suspension of your license. Do not
wait until it is too late; call the Law Offices of Scott Henry today.
Call now to speak to a Riverside DUI lawyer and receive a free consultation.