Utah DUI Roadblocks
Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after going through a roadblock in Utah? If so, there may be several defenses that can help you avoid a drunk-driving conviction as well as the harsh sentence that comes with it. To limit the violation of your Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure, the U.S. Supreme Court requires law enforcement agencies to follow a number of stringent guidelines in order to ensure that your rights are protected. When police departments fail to adhere to the guidelines, it may result in the dismissal of your DUI charges.
To conduct a DUI roadblock, the supervising officers of the police department or law enforcement agency must demonstrate the need for a sobriety checkpoint by citing an unusually high number of drunk-driving arrests or alcohol-related vehicle collisions in a certain area and at a certain time. Once the date, time and location have been decided, a public announcement must be made regarding when and where the roadblock will be held in order to deter people from drinking and driving.
Before the roadblock is conducted, the police department must first set up a policy on how to stop vehicles (for example, every other car, every fourth car, etc). If any vehicle is stopped outside of this pattern, the reason for the deviation from plan must be documented.
Signs and lights must be posted to warn motorists that they are approaching a roadblock, and all officers must be in uniform. In addition, all officers must be properly trained on how to detect drunk drivers. If they believe that a driver is under the influence, they must be able to initiate an investigation without impeded traffic. In addition, there should be a mobile breathalyzer on-site or a streamlined system for transporting those suspected of DUI to a testing site.
Fighting a DUI Roadblock Arrest
There are several potential defenses if you are arrested for drunk driving at a roadblock. For example, did the police department follow all of the guidelines? Were the field sobriety tests administered properly? Was the breathalyzer result accurate? Did the police have probable cause to make an arrest? If the answer to any of these questions is "no," it may be possible to win your case or get your charges reduced or dismissed.