Be Careful Driving This New Years – Here’s A History Lesson On DUI Checkpoints

The concept of a sobriety checkpoint came up in 1986. The Michigan State Police decided to create roadblocks to help police the road for drunk drivers. Almost immediately they were opposed by a citizen, Rick Sitz, who decided to sue the police for trying to enforce what clearly qualified as unlawful search and seizure as laid out in the Fourth Amendment. Unless there is probable cause, the Constitution prevents the police from searching you or your belongings. For the next four years, this case was argued in the courts, all the way up to the Supreme Court. In 1990, a decision was made in favor of the checkpoints.

Now, there are 38 states where it is legal for police to set up sobriety checks to deter and catch drunk drivers. Be that as it may people still argue against these roadblocks. Twelve other states have ruled in favor of this or are simply silent on the issue, stating that DUI checkpoints clearly violate the rights of the citizen to not have search and seizure conducted without reasonable suspicion. Even today, this decision is questioned by ruling bodies on every level, and still remains debated by policy makers.

Not only are sobriety and DUI checkpoints and roadblocks viewed as unconstitutional by some states, they are also deemed ineffective by the state governments that have outlawed them. It isn’t uncommon for Kansas City DUI lawyers to argue against the legality of a police stop, even at a DUI checkpoint. Unless very specific protocol is followed by the officers involved, the case is not always set in stone, and the ruling can turn out in the defendant’s favor. Different states do different things in handling traffic stops and the protocol that gets administered therein.

For Kansas and Missouri residents, DUI checkpoints can be set up as often as once or twice a month by the police force, which means Kansas City DUI lawyers know all about the laws surrounding these checkpoints. Their goal in each and every case is to make sure that clients live their life out in dignity, get to keep the money they make rather than spending it on fines, drive their vehicle, and get the absolute best possible outcome. Getting a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint doesn’t have to be the end of your career or your good reputation. A good lawyer can help you each step of the way, and make sure you are set up for success after your case is over.