Joe Simpson, the father of singer Jessica Simpson, faces two counts of drunk driving after he was arrested at a DUI checkpoint. According to a news report in The Associated Press, Simpson was arrested at a DUI checkpoint in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles County. Officials say he registered a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 percent. He faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail, 36 months of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
As local police agencies continue to crack down on drunk driving, Los Angeles DUI checkpoints will remain a popular tool utilized to catch those who are driving under the influence. When a driver is arrested for drunken driving at a checkpoint, it may be possible to fight the charges particularly if the officers failed to follow proper procedures. In most cases, officers at checkpoints do not have an opportunity to observe dangerous driving behavior and can therefore not prove that the person’s driving ability was impaired.
There are many questions to ask following an arrest at a DUI checkpoint. Were there adequate notifications about the checkpoint on television or in the newspaper? Was there an available route for a driver to avoid the checkpoint? Were there supervising officers present? The answers to these questions could affect the legal validity of the checkpoint.
During the brief discussion an officer will have with a driver at a checkpoint, he or she will check for signs of intoxication. If the driver exhibits symptoms of intoxication, such as the odor of alcohol or erratic behavior, then the officer may conduct further investigation. A skilled attorney will be able to determine whether the defendant’s rights were violated during the arrest.
The experienced drunk driving defense attorneys in Sherman Oaks at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a successful track record of fighting drunk driving charges stemming from checkpoints. If you have been accused of driving under the influence in either Los Angeles or Orange County, please call our offices at (866)430-8383 for a free consultation and case assessment.