California Sobriety Roadblocks
If you have been pulled over at a roadside checkpoint in California, there are some things you should know. I am attorney Blackie Burak, and I have nearly 40 years of experience defending individuals charged with drunk driving throughout central and northern California.
To discuss your case in a free consultation, please contact me online or call my Walnut Creek law office at 1-866-BLCKDUI.
Are Sobriety Roadblocks Legal?
In my opinion, sobriety roadblocks should be illegal. Even though the Supreme Court doesn't agree with me, it has established rules to regulate sobriety checkpoints. Without going into a lengthy discussion, the most important rule for the average driver to know is that the configuration of the roadblock must provide an escape or avoidance route. In plain words, there must be adequate advance warning to the motorist of the roadblock ahead, and there must be a way to avoid going through the roadblock (this could be a side street, freeway exit or way to turn around). The escape route regulation is the one that is commonly disregarded by the police. Even though the plan or schematic for the roadblock will contain an escape route, in reality, the route is closed. Typically, squad cars or police motorcycles will be placed at the entrance of the escape route to discourage anyone from avoiding the roadblock.
It is often possible to show the court that the roadblock did not conform to the rules. If so, the judge will likely dismiss your case.
Have You Been Pulled Over at a Sobriety Checkpoint?
Although sobriety roadblocks are legal, the procedures used by police offers may not be. There may rules that were not obeyed. There may be other cracks in the case. A knowledgeable attorney can determine whether your rights were violated by the presence of a sobriety roadblock.
If you have arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, contact me as soon as possible. The sooner I can begin investigating your case, the greater the chance I can gather critical evidence. What may seem like an automatic win for the police officers may not be — I will put my nearly 40 years of experience to work for you.
For DUI checkpoint defense, please contact me immediately. Call my law office at 1-866-BLCKDUI orcontact a lawyer online.