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What Are Your Rights When Approaching a DUI Checkpoint?

December 26th, 2019 at 9:07 am

IL DUI, IL drunk driving lawyer, IL DUI checkpoint lawyerThe holidays are approaching and that means in Illinois, you will likely come across more DUI checkpoints as you are traveling between shopping malls, restaurants, and the homes of loved ones. During the landmark case, Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the United States Supreme Court ruled that these checkpoints do not violate a person’s rights. However, the federal government leaves it up to the individual states to determine if these stops go against the state’s constitution, and how to operate them if they determine they are legal.

Unlike some states, such as neighboring Wisconsin, in Illinois, DUI checkpoints are considered legal. That doesn’t mean though, that you do not have any rights when approaching one.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Law enforcement has the right to set up DUI checkpoints any time they wish and in nearly any location. They cannot set these checkpoints up in areas that would cause needless traffic jams, or that would pose a hazard to drivers, such as on a highway. Police typically choose a location where arrests for DUIs are common. Sometimes police departments may announce where these checkpoints are, in the hopes that it will deter drunk driving. Other times, they may be more discreet, in the hopes of catching drivers off guard.

When setting up the checkpoint, law enforcement must use lights, signal flares, or signs to tell drivers that they are approaching a checkpoint. All vehicles and officers on the scene must be clearly marked to indicate that they belong to law enforcement.

Officers are not allowed to detain drivers they have no reason to believe has been drinking or committing any other criminal activity. If they want to ask a driver to get out of their vehicle, or to search the vehicle, they must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is drunk or has committed another offense. Lastly, officers cannot arrest someone without a reason to believe that the person has committed a crime.

Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint

In Illinois, you are allowed to turn your vehicle around if you are approaching a DUI stop and wish to avoid it. You must make this turn legally. If you decide to proceed through the checkpoint, it is important to understand that you still have the same rights as someone that is pulled over by police for a suspected DUI.

You do still have the right to remain silent if you could incriminate yourself, such as admitting that you had been drinking. You can also refuse to perform field sobriety tests and can refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, although your driver’s license will likely be automatically suspended for one year.

If the police arrest you at the checkpoint, you still have the right to remain silent until speaking to an attorney. You also have the right to refuse to provide a blood sample until you are presented with a warrant signed by a judge.

Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint? Call an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Too many people in Illinois are confused about their rights when they approach a DUI checkpoint. The fact is everyone has them and, too often, law enforcement violate those rights in their eagerness to make an arrest. If you have been charged with a DUI arrest after passing through a checkpoint, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our attorney has the experience necessary to challenge these charges and give you the best chance of beating them. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation to learn how we can help.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/496/444

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Written by Staff Writer

December 26th, 2019 at 9:07 am

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