What are the Rules for Conducting a DUI Checkpoint in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, DUI checkpoints are considered to be anti-DUI tools and have been practiced in this manner by the law enforcement agencies for a number of years. For some, these act as an effective weapon to prevent the DUI injuries, accidents, or deaths, while there are others who think this is unconstitutional. If you have faced a violation of your rights at a DUI checkpoint in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, then you should resort to an experienced Pittsburgh DUI lawyer.Pennsylvania DUI Checkpoint Guidelines
The DUI stops in Pennsylvania are not always related to any particular suspicion which allows you to lawfully change the route if you want to avoid the checkpoint. According to the Pennsylvania laws, a driver cannot be considered as intoxicated merely depending on an officer’s intuition that he or she is avoiding a sobriety check on the roadblock. The police cannot stop you on such a suspicion. But making an illegal maneuver to escape the DUI checkpoint or making an illegal U-turn can be taken against you, and you can be stopped with the excuse of the traffic offense followed by a DUI investigation if they find alcohol smell from your breath or empty bottles of beer in the car.
Following are the Pennsylvania law enforcement guidelines that are required for a legal DUI checkpoint:
- Checkpoints are enabled for restricted privacy intrusions and officers are not allowed to search the vehicle or the occupants
- Checkpoints must be issued in the interest of the public safety
- Checkpoints cannot practice any form of discrimination
- Checkpoints should not be arbitrary in nature and should have a supporting evidence for the DUI roadblock
- Prior notice of the location of the checkpoint must be provided to the citizens
Along with the location, additional information must also be provided prior to the checkpoint including the police department, the officer in charge, and the training completed by the personnel who took part in this checkpoint. Also, the police department must be able to provide adequate proof that the checkpoint had been approved beforehand at the administrative level.
Details must also be provided regarding the process of conducting the DUI checkpoint. How the law enforcement officials interacted with the car owners, the number of vehicles pulled over at a time, or how was it decided which drivers should be subjected to a field sobriety test, and other such vital information must also be shared.How is a DUI Roadblock carried out in Pennsylvania?
When you are pulled over for a DUI checkpoint, the officer will first explain to you why you have been stopped and then ask you if you are under the influence of alcohol especially if they could smell alcohol from your breath or the vehicle. Although saying yes might take you to the next level of the checkpoint, you should not lie either.
Next stage is the field sobriety test. According to the law of Pennsylvania, you have the right to refuse this test along with denying any information regarding your name, car registration, insurance proof, or license. You must be cautious about giving out any irrelevant and extra information at the checkpoint.
If you are arrested by the officers, you will be forced to take the sobriety test. Refusal to do so will suspend your license up to a period of 18 months, and furthermore, this refusal can be used as an evidence against you in the DUI trial later which might lead to more severe penalties. Offenders who are found with more than a single DUI offense are likely to face more stringent penalties. But the police must acquire a search warrant in order to take the blood sample.Contact the Pittsburgh DUI Lawyers for the Best Legal Representation
If you or someone you know get involved in a DUI checkpoint, you must immediately get in touch with a skilled and efficient Pittsburgh DUI lawyer who can give the best legal representation in such cases.