What is a DUI Roadblock?
A police field sobriety checkpoint, also known as a DUI roadblock, is a pre-determined spot on a road or highway where the police set up a traffic chokepoint to monitor drivers for alcohol consumption and possible drunk driving offenses.
If you are stopped in a DUI roadblock in Massachusetts, please call me for a consultation at (781) 380-7730, and I’ll go over what your options are in fighting the case.
Are These Roadblocks Fair?
It is a serious question whether these checkpoints that stop drivers without probable cause are a violation of the Fourth Ammendment to the US Constition. The police are stopping you without any reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
However, Massachusetts courts have said they are legal and constitutional. The roadblock location has to be announced publicly before it happens.
Can I Fight A Roadblock Charge?
Definitely. Although Massachusetts allows roadblocks, and your case is unlikley to be dismissed soley on that basis, the fact that you were essentially stopped for no reason can make it harder to prove the case against you.
You were not accused of weaving, speeding, or driving dangerously. The police officer will likely have to testify that he saw nothing wrong with your driving. So the case will turn on field sobriety tests, and a breath test result if you took the breathalyzer, and we can fight those in a number of ways.
Are Sobriety Roadblocks Effective?
That is an open question, and really depends on “compared to what”? They typically do result in a few people arrested for DUI, a few more drug possession cases, and some suspended license charges.
It is controversial as to whether they are an effective public safety measure. Many experts believe that “roving patrols” are more effective at stopping dangerous drunk drivers. Police cruisers would do better patrolling the highways looking for bad driving behavior that might indicate impairment.
Since DUI checkpoints are often announced in advance, or put in predictable spots, chronic drunk driver’s may know to avoid these places.
That means that these roadblocks are most likely to ensnare drivers who may have made an innocent mistake, and aren’t a significant danger. After all, they wouldn’t have even been pulled over if not for the roadblock.
Call Attorney Russell Matson if you’ve been stopped in a roadblock and arrested on a DUI charge. He can answer your questions about your MA drunk driving charge. You can call 24 hours a day at (781) 380-7730, and he will be happy to consult on your case, with no further obligation.
Call the Law Office of Russell Matson to talk to an attorney anytime at (781) 380-7730.