Typically, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prevents police officers from conducting traffic stops without justification. Police need “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity to pull a driver over. However, sobriety checkpoints are an exception to this rule.
At sobriety checkpoints, police officers can stop vehicles without any suspicion that the driver has committed a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional as long as they are conducted in a reasonable manner. If you or a loved one are facing charges for driving under the influence because of a sobriety checkpoint, contact a DUI defense lawyer for help.
Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal in Illinois?
State laws differ with regard to sobriety checkpoints. Illinois has allowed the use of sobriety checkpoints to assess drivers for intoxication. However, there are certain rules that the police must follow when conducting these checkpoints. For example, checkpoints must be publicized in advance, and they must be conducted at locations that have a history of drunk driving accidents or arrests. Officers must have an biased procedure for determining which vehicles to stop. For example, they may decide to stop every third vehicle that passes through the checkpoint area. However, they cannot stop people based on racial prejudices or other types of bias.
What Happens if I Am Stopped at a Sobriety Checkpoint?
If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Illinois, the police officer will likely ask you for your driver’s license and registration. He or she will also ask you if you have been drinking. If the officer smells alcohol on your breath or sees signs that you are intoxicated, he or she may ask you to step out of the vehicle for further testing. This may include field sobriety tests and a portable breathalyzer test.
If the officer has probable cause to believe that you are intoxicated, he or she will place you under arrest and take you to the police station. At the station, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test of your breath, urine, or blood. If you refuse this test, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to one year.
Contact an Elgin DUI Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one were charged with drunk driving after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint, contact our Illinois drunk driving defense lawyer for help. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] for a free consultation.