• Raleigh DWI Lawyer | An Understanding of Police Checkpoints
  • June 11, 2013
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • A Police DWI checkpoint must be specifically designated to the detection of evidence justifying a DWI in progress. By law, a police force can not pursue a checkpoint where the main goal is general crime deterrence. It must be specific. A particular specificity only including license and registration checks, boarder control searches, and sobriety check points. But the roadblock must be constitutionally valid. According to this Durham DWI Lawyer, each officer must advise the citizen that they are being stopped and what the designated purpose for the stop is. Each checkpoint must have lighted signs clearly visible to oncoming traffic signalling to the driver that a checkpoint is approaching. The checkpoint must be planned, supervised, and mentioned to the general public weeks in advance.   

    When dealing with a sobriety checkpoint, its important to understand that order must be in place to eliminate discretion. By law, the police force must have a specific order for stopping cars, whether its every one or every three. This prevents "unfettered discretion" and avoids the invasion of motorists privacy interests. However, the Supervisor may implement a deviation from the plan when traffic patterns become unreasonably overloaded.   

    Any Durham Criminal Attorney will tell you, all checkpoints must be tailored to their primary programmatic purpose. The purpose must be to check driver's license, the monitor sobriety levels, or maintain border control. Any deviation from the proposed plan without reasonable suspicion shall infringe upon the 4th Amendment. Before one can question the constitutionality of the seizure one must consider the reasonable suspicion. Simply, was the search reasonable? One must take into account the seriousness of the public concerns attended to by the seizure, the degree to which the seizure assisted the public interest, and the gravity of the interference with individual liberty. Only when these guidelines are met is search and seizure granted.   

    One last part to cover, and its imperative for any citizen of Wake County to understand. When charged with a DWI resulting from a sobriety check point the person must meet his or her burden of proof along with the State. The Person has the burden of establishing that the primary programmatic objective for stopping a suspicion less vehicle was not just to further general crime control. The State, on the other hand, must prove that the roadblock and seizure is constitutionally valid. Therefore, its imperative that when you are  When faced with a DWI resulting from a DWI Checkpoint, its important to contact your Raleigh DWI Lawyer.