Last month, four people in Oxnard were arrested on suspicion of
DUI during a law enforcement
checkpoint. According to city police officers, 552 vehicles were screened between
8 PM and 3 AM that Sunday on southbound Oxnard Blvd., south of Vineyard Avenues.
While three people were arrested in connection with driving under the influence
of alcohol, one individual was arrested on suspicion of driving under
the influence of a controlled substance. Furthermore, law enforcement
officials issued 28 citations—with 16 drivers cited for driving
with a suspended license or driving without a license.
DUI Checkpoints & Your Rights
California DUI checkpoints are not in and of themselves unconstitutional.
However, failure of the police to follow lawful procedures may make a
specific DUI checkpoint unconstitutional.
When a person is arrested at a California DUI checkpoint, it is important
to examine the sobriety checkpoint itself. If one of the legal requirements
are not met, you may be able to get your DUI case dismissed.
The following are the functional guidelines to determine whether a DUI
checkpoint is constitutional:
- Supervising officers need to determine where, how, and when sobriety checkpoints
will operate in order to reduce the potential for arbitrary and capricious
- Supervising officers must determine—ahead of time—which vehicles
are to be stopped by using “neutral mathematical selection criteria”
such as stopping every third car or so. Stopping only certain makes or
model years of cars is not prohibited.
- The checkpoint needs to be in a location where there is a high volume of
DUI-related accidents or arrests
- The checkpoint’s time and duration should reflect “good judgment.”
Effectiveness needs to be weighed against the intrusiveness to drivers.
- Drivers need to clearly see that they are approaching an official DUI stop.
- Checkpoints should be publicly advertised in advance, often a week in advance.
If you were recently arrested for a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint in Ventura County,
contact The Law Offices of Robert F. Sommers and schedule a
free consultation today.