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Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in California?

In the State of California, sobriety or DUI checkpoints are legal and are used frequently by police officers and law enforcement officials around holidays. The locations chosen for these checkpoints are usually temporary and occur randomly, although they are publicized ahead of time. In order for a roadblock or DUI checkpoint to be legal, however, certain rules and procedures must be followed.

  • Operational decisions are to be made by supervising officers only
  • There must be a neutral criteria for stopping vehicles
  • Reasonably located checkpoint
  • Safety precautions must be used
  • The time and duration of the checkpoint must be appropriate
  • It must be clearly labeled so that motorists are aware that it is an official checkpoint
  • Drivers should not be detained for large amounts of time
  • Roadblocks and DUI checkpoints must be publically advertised in advance

The U.S Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints or DUI checkpoints are the exception to the illegal search and seizure provisions set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Those Constitutional laws require police officers to have probable cause for traffic stops – with DUI checkpoints being the notable exception. As long as law enforcement officials comply with the above rules and regulations, DUI checkpoints are very legal in California.

That being said – if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint and subjected to a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer, it is important to know that these tests are notoriously inaccurate. After your arrest for DUI, it is vital that you contact an experienced Oakland DUI defense lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will need to examine your arrest and review the test results to determine if they were conducted appropriately and/or if your rights were violated.

Contact Oakland DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving or DUI in Oakland, time is of the essence. Call the Oakland DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges. You can stay out of jail and even get your license back with the right defense. Call today at (510) 907-6600 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.

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