DUI Checkpoints


MTA:RP Forum Legend
[ch]Sobriety Checkpoints[/ch]

​Are checkpoints legal in the first place?

Technically, no, they violate your fourth amendment and threaten to throw your rights out the window. However, even though that's true, DUI Checkpoints have been kept up legally by the United States Supreme Court, with varying degrees of limits and laws imposed to keep them legally inbound with the constitution. In California, for example, they're allowed constitutionally by two basic principles;
  • Driving is not one of your listed rights.
  • Driving is considered a privilege.
The San Andreas Highway Patrol summarizes this with, “Anyone granted the driving privilege is presumed to have given consent to law enforcement to conduct chemical testing of the motorist’s blood or breath.” California Vehicle Code Section 2814.1 allows law enforcement to conduct Checkpoints. California Vehicle Code Section 2814.2 requires you to stop at a designated Checkpoint. Division 6 of the California Vehicle Code defines the responsibilities of drivers and the limitations of a driver’s license. This section also defines the agreements you make when you receive a driver’s license, and the implied permissions you give to law enforcement.

Okay, so they're legal... What do I do?

First things first: stop. Do not turn around when you see one. Checkpoints are almost always strategically placed so that you're unable to simply pull off onto another road upon seeing it. Once you attempt to evade a checkpoint, you have just given probable cause to the police to pull you over. When you approach one of the checkpoints and pull into a line of waiting vehicles, you'll be approached by an officer. Rememebr your fourth amendment right:
Fourth Amendment said:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
You do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle. You do not have to consent to a search of your person. Your vehicle and your body are yours. If you're ordered to do something, such as exit your vehicle, exit it. Make sure you state that you do not consent with what is happening, ask if you're being detained, and ask for a lawyer if it reaches that far. The most important thing to remember is that you still have rights.

Alright, so my rights don't change... What about other checkpoints?

As ruled by the Supreme Court, checkpoints are, by themselves, unconstitutional. So aside from sobriety checkpoints, direct court approval is needed by police agencies to deploy their own 'special' blocks. This does not mean they are legal though.. If you feel like a checkpoint was conducted illegally, or the simply fact of it being illegal, open a civil lawsuit. Just because it's said, doesn't mean it's true.