Five motorists were arrested at a Los Angeles area DUI checkpoint for driving under the influence, The Beverly Hills Courier reports. Police say the DUI checkpoint was conducted from 6 p.m. on April 14, 2011, to 2 a.m. the following day at the intersection of Newhall Ranch Road and Grandview Drive. A total of 802 cars passed through the checkpoint. Officials arrested five drivers for driving under the influence and issued 17 citations for motorists driving without a valid license or driving with a suspended license.
The use of DUI checkpoints in Los Angeles have become increasingly common, as well as throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties. These checkpoints can be commonly seen in the late night to early morning hours and occur mostly over weekends. Law enforcement agencies not only get funds from the Department of Transportation for these checkpoints, but also get money into their own coffers from DUI fines and penalties assessed in court.
Although it is commonly assumed that these checkpoints are legal, there may be circumstances where the checkpoint itself or the officers’ actions may violate certain laws. There are several questions to be asked. How did the agency choose the specific location for the checkpoint? Was advance notice given to the general public? How were breath tests administered? Were field sobriety tests administered? What was the length of time each driver was stopped? There are some things officers cannot do at a DUI checkpoint. For example, an officer cannot stop you if you turn off to avoid a roadblock. Such an action in itself does not provide a basis for officers to stop and detain a driver.
If you or a loved one was wrongfully stopped, detained, or arrested at a DUI checkpoint in California, please contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer to examine your legal rights and options. Call Sitkoff & Hanrahan today at 866-430-8383 to find out how we can help you.