The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

Los Angeles DUI Attorneys Analyze Sobriety Checkpoints

Many Los Angeles drivers feel uneasy when going through a sobriety checkpoint. Perhaps you just had a little bit to drink and you're worried you'll get a DUI arrest. Or maybe you haven't consumed any alcohol, but you fear you'll get busted for something illegal found in your car. Stay calm, and don't freak out, because law enforcement agencies have to have certain constraints when setting up a checkpoint. If something goes wrong, a DUI attorney in Los Angeles will certainly have your back.

The landmark California Supreme Court case, Ingersoll vs. Palmer, legitimized sobriety checkpoints, but also set strict criteria for the checkpoints to be considered lawful. The following factors must be met:

  • The public must be given notice prior to the checkpoint
  • There must be a turnout prior to the checkpoint so that people who do not want to proceed through it have the option to turn around.  These people cannot be pulled over based solely on their decision to not to proceed through the checkpoint.
  • There must be a random, impartial formula for stopping cars (such as every 5th car, etc.
  • Safety conditions must be monitored at sobriety checkpoints
  • The length and nature of the detention must not be obtrusive
  • The location must be reasonable, as well as the time and day

This month, both federal and local governments are cracking down on drunk drivers and have designated funding for an increase in DUI checkpoints. If you get arrested at a DUI checkpoint, but any of the factors above were not met, you may have a legitimate claim to why the evidence gathered should be suppressed.