Are DUI checkpoints legal?
One major takeaway from a review of the constitution and our inherent constitutional rights may be that we cannot be subjected to unreasonable search and seizure without due cause. So it would seem counter-intuitive that we should not be subjected to such intrusions as we are at DUI checkpoints. And yet, DUI checkpoints are not uncommon in New York City and throughout many states within the US. How can this be?
As it turns out, federal law upholds the legality of these stops in a decision that the interference with one’s privacy is outweighed by the danger presented to the general public’s safety. Still, 12 states do not conduct DUI checkpoints because their constitutional interpretation believes the stops to be illegal, state law makes the stops illegal or the state is without the proper authority to conduct the stops. In fact, two states determined that the act of stopping vehicles randomly to issue sobriety checks is illegal by the state’s Supreme Court decision. Another state of the 12 only allows for safety stops.
Perhaps the Centers for Disease Control’s findings that 20 percent of alcohol-related wrecks were eradicated with the practice of DUI checkpoints are the reason for our state’s utilization of them.
If you have been arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense in any of the five boroughs of New York and the surrounding area, you may be wise to seek out a practiced criminal defense attorney with ample experience in taking on charges such as yours. Whether you were stopped randomly at a DUI checkpoint or not, you don’t want to leave your defense in the hands of anyone and you don’t want to accept a plea from a prosecutor who is intent on tallying up convictions. Your future is more important than that.
Neil S. Ruskin
188 Montague Street Suite 900
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Local: (718) 237-1547