On May 5, 2015, the San Rafael Police Department Traffic Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint on Lincoln Avenue. The DUI checkpoint was performed between 6:00 pm and 1:00 am and was undoubtedly done to catch inebriated Cinco de Mayo partiers. Lincoln Avenue was chosen as the DUI checkpoint because it had the greatest opportunity to catch DUI drivers, while still providing officers and the public with a certain measure of safety.
The Cinco de Mayo DUI checkpoint in San Rafael screened 1287 vehicles. Of those drivers, 14 were asked to perform a field sobriety test and 3 were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. 3 additional drivers were arrested for driving with a suspended license and 12 were cited for driving without their license.
DUI checkpoints have been proven to lower DUI fatalities and injuries because they raise awareness in the community and deter drivers from driving impaired. The CDC estimates that sobriety checkpoints have the potential to prevent 1 in 10 DUI deaths. Over 2500 DUI checkpoints are conducted in the State of California each and every year. Yet, not all DUI checkpoints are conducted in accordance with the law.
While sobriety checkpoints (or DUI checkpoints) in the State of California are legal, they must abide by certain rules and regulations, including:
- Supervising officers need to make all decisions regarding operations
- There must be a neutral criteria for stopping motorists
- The checkpoint must be reasonably located and in a safe environment
- The checkpoint must be operated during a reasonable time and for a reasonable amount of time.
- Drivers should not be detained too long
- Roadblocks must be publically advertised in advance of the checkpoint
How does a DUI checkpoint work? During a DUI checkpoint, drivers are detained briefly and asked a series of questions. These questions are designed to help officers spot potentially inebriated drivers. If a driver slurs his speech, avoids eye contact, or displays signs of intoxication, the officer may ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and perform a field sobriety test.
If you have been detained at a DUI checkpoint in California and arrested for DUI, it is important to know that you have a right to fight these serious charges. If your arrest was made because of a failed field sobriety test, there are ways your DUI defense attorney can defend against these charges. Field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate and subject to the officer's interpretation. As such, there are ways to fight against them.
Contact Oakland DUI Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI, it is imperative that you discuss your case with an experienced Oakland DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. You can fight these serious charges and get your license back. Call the Oakland Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today. Call today at (510) 907-6600 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.