Although the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, the United States Supreme Court held that DUI checkpoints are constitutional. Therefore, Sobriety or DUI checkpoints are legally sanctioned in the state of Colorado. Commonly known as roadblocks or mobile checkpoints, these official stops are made at random places.
When processing a sobriety check, drivers are often briefly detained and interviewed to ascertain whether they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or marijuana. Drivers suspected of intoxication are then required to take a sobriety test. The idea behind a DUI checkpoint it to sift out impaired drivers from regular traffic and maintain safe travel on roads as well as freeways.
According to a recent statistical survey conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the implementation of DUI checkpoints along crucial inner-city stops and intersections carries the potential to prevent at least 1 out of 10 deaths caused by drunk driving.
DUI Checkpoints Must Comply with Certain Guidelines
There must be a reasonable basis for selecting the particular checkpoint site. Additionally, the reasonable basis must further the state’s interest in preventing drunk driving. For example, law enforcement can not set up random roving DUI checkpoints. The police must follow specific procedures before setting up DUI checkpoints. The police must also follow specific guidelines when conducting DUI checkpoints. O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC defends all types of DUI cases and has successfully challenged how past DUI checkpoints have been conducted.
What about probable cause?
Technically, the constitution demands the officer detaining an individual to give reasonable suspicion or probable cause before conducting an interview and sobriety test at a traffic stop. However, the US Supreme Court has found probable dangers from drunk driving to override the level of intrusion faced at sobriety checkpoints. So DUI checkpoints are an exception and are not implemented within the search and seizure category of the US Constitution.
Colorado State DUI statute
According to Colorado State law, it is a criminal offense to drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Drivers found to be under the influence of one or more drugs, or in a state produced by combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, can be held under misdemeanor charges.
It is an offense in Denver to drive a vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent, or within two hours after drinking. Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), is also considered a violation of traffic laws and will be triggered if the driver’s BAC is more than 0.05 percent and less than 0.08 percent. You can hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney from O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC to help you with your case.