How The Sobriety Checkpoint Came To Be

If you’ve ever encountered a sobriety checkpoint on your way home from a holiday celebration, you’re not alone. But things didn’t always used to be this way. Although the roadblocks are legal in most states, they are still argued against. It was not easy to get sobriety checkpoints legalized, and to this day they are hotly contested by Kansas City DUI lawyers and other legal professionals around the country. Even though it is legal on the federal level, not all states have agreed that it is a constitutional law.

In 1986, the Michigan State Police decided on a technique to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road by setting up road blocks to check for sobriety. Today, these are known as sobriety checkpoints. A resident named Rick Sitz set to work immediately, suing the police department for violating the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which implies that you can not search without probable cause. The fact that there is no suspicion involved, yet the police are allowed to search your vehicle goes against the protection of the Constitution. Vehicles are stopped with no probable cause. This was argued for four years, until in 1990 a 6-3 vote decided that the roadblocks were legal.

Currently there are 38 states that have sobriety checkpoints that they use under a certain set of guidelines given by their constitution. 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. To this day it still debated as being an unconstitutional policing policy.

Not everyone is convinced that these checkpoints are lawful. But many states also don’t agree on how useful and effective they are. In a court of law, Kansas City DUI lawyers are able to argue and defend clients based on unlawful search and seizure. A misstep in procedure can spell out a win for the defendant in DUI charges received at checkpoints. Depending on the state constitution and the interpretation of those laws, DUI checkpoints are handled differently. The court will judge according to this set of guidelines.

If you live in Missouri or Kansas, the police force is allowed to set up checkpoints once or twice a month. That kind of frequency means that DUI attorneys in Kansas City are familiar and well versed in the laws that can help their clients that get drunk driving charges in this manner. They are dedicated to helping their clients retain their dignity, keep the money they work so hard for, keep their license, and make sure they receive the best possible outcome in their particular case. Without help a DUI can easily spiral out of control. With the right lawyer, you can get the help you need, and move on to a better life.