On any weekend night don’t be surprised to have a police officer stop you at a roadblock to chat with you about your recreational activities and whether you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The officer won’t want to know whether you went to a baseball game, or a barbeque or a patriotic concert. The police want to discuss your drinking and see if you look like you’re over the line. Then, he’ll want you to take the driver’s license mandatory blood alcohol test, do the voluntary field sobriety tests testing balance, short-term memory and general orientation. And, then he may or may not arrest you after further quizzing you about how many drinks you consumed before getting into your car and heading his way.
Some of my friends say this smacks of a totalitarian power play ignoring the Fourth Amendment’s general prohibition against detaining citizens without, at least, a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. Other friends say this is a reasonable intrusion on a citizen’s liberty because the detention is minimal, the stakes are high, and one’s expectations of privacy while driving an automobile are rightfully diminished.
I will leave for your consideration whether DUI checkpoints implicate liberty interests about which you do or do not care. I just want to inform you of this legal issue and practical reality.
If you or a loved one are in a situation where a drunk driving arrest has become more than a matter of theoretical interest, please feel free to call for a consultation.
The lawyers at Schwartz & Powell have extensive experience defending drunk driving and other criminal defense cases. If arrested for DUI call our Ventura County office and make an appointment for a consultation. We have over thirty years of experience and want only the best results possible for our clients.
Remember Experience Matters.