Sobriety Checkpoints

Attorney in Edmonds

Edmonds Lawyer: Sobriety Checkpoints

Many states in the U.S. allow law enforcement to set up sobriety checkpoints for the purpose of finding and getting drunk drivers off the road. These are "stations" set up in advance, with the date, time, and location disclosed to the public. Cars are stopped based on a predetermined pattern, such as every third car. Officers observe the drivers, and if they suspect the driver is under the influence, can proceed with field sobriety tests and arrests if warranted. However, in our state, sobriety checkpoints are not legal. The state's Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. I am Jim Johanson of Johanson Law Group, Inc. As a DUI criminal defense attorney, I defend clients accused or arrested for DUI. I have been practicing law for over 20 years, was a former Deputy Prosecutor in both Pierce and King counties, and have done more than 100 trial cases.

Even though sobriety checkpoints are not legal in our state, law enforcement is allowed to create "rolling roadblocks." Rolling roadblocks are when police pull drivers over under the pretext of some infraction, such as not stopping fully at a stop sign. Most commonly, these stops, which are for the purpose of finding drunk drivers, are performed after 11pm. If, during the stop, the police suspect the driver has been drinking or is drugged, they can perform field sobriety tests and make arrests. If you are arrested and convicted of DUI, you could be facing jail, stiff fines, and suspension of your driver's license. These rolling roadblocks, which are legal, are how law enforcement skirts the law and the unconstitutionality of sobriety checkpoints.

Defending DUI Charges

There are many possible defenses for DUI, especially under rolling roadblock conditions. The reason for stopping you may be suspect, particularly when the infraction is one that is rarely cited during the daylight hours. As with any DUI arrest, there can be problems with how the police conducted themselves, problems with field sobriety tests, and other errors. I have the experience to know what to look for regarding weaknesses in the prosecutor's case, and I aggressively pursue every avenue that would result in a dismissal, reduced charges, or an acquittal. Contact my firm as soon as possible to get started.

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