A DUI checkpoint, also called a sobriety checkpoint, occurs when the police block a road and stop cars based on a pattern to check whether any drivers are over the legal intoxication limit.
DUI checkpoints are legal because the importance of keeping intoxicated drivers off the road outweighs the inconvenience and intrusion of a motorists privacy.
If charged with DUI in Nebraska as the result of a DUI checkpoint, you should talk to a Nebraska criminal defense attorney today.
DUI Checkpoint Procedures
There are several procedures which law enforcement officials must follow when conducting a DUI checkpoint in Nebraska.
First, the law enforcement agency must announce and publish the location, date, and time of the checkpoint before it occurs.
Obviousness and Safety
Second, it must be obvious to the motorist that they are entering a DUI checkpoint. Additionally, the location of the checkpoint must be safe for motorists.
Law enforcement officers cannot target specific vehicles to stop during a DUI checkpoint. For example, officers could choose to stop every fourth car passing through the checkpoint. They could not stop only vehicles with out of state license plates.
Finally, the duration of a DUI checkpoint must be reasonable. Checkpoints that last longer than one day might be considered unreasonably long.
What You Should Keep in Mind When Entering a DUI Checkpoint
When you enter a DUI checkpoint, you should stay calm and be respectful to law enforcement officers. If you fail to comply with officers’ requests, you are more likely to raise suspicion from them. You have a right to remain silent but do so respectfully.
Additionally, if you are the driver of the vehicle stopped in a checkpoint, you may be asked to take a breath test. Under Nebraska’s implied consent law, a person who operates a motor vehicle gives his or her consent for a breath test if officers have reasonable suspicion to believe you have been drinking.
If you refuse to take a roadside preliminary breath test, you can be charged with a class V misdemeanor which carries a maximum $100 fine. You will be placed under arrest and taken to the police station to submit to a legal breath test.
If you are charged with DUI as a result of a DUI checkpoint, an attorney can challenge the checkpoint itself. Some of the procedures an attorney can challenge include:
- How many vehicles law enforcement officers stopped;
- Which vehicles police stopped;
- Whether law enforcement announced the checkpoint; and
- The length of the checkpoint.
Additionally, an attorney can challenge the admission of any evidence seized during a search done without your consent if the search violated your Fourth Amendment rights.
How a Nebraska Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You
If charged with DUI as the result of a DUI checkpoint, you should contact a Nebraska criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid making mistakes in the criminal justice system and advise you about which defenses might apply to your case.
Tom Petersen at Petersen Criminal Law is an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney who understands that your future is at risk when facing criminal charges.
To have the best chance at keeping your future in your control, contact Tom today to schedule your free consultation.