Sobriety checkpoints, also called DUI checkpoints, are conducted by law enforcement officials to ensure that drivers are not operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. During a DUI checkpoint operation police officers may set up a station on a particular road and stop drivers based on a periodic count. For example, the officers may stop every fifth car that passes through the checkpoint to assess if the drivers are conducting themselves safely.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that such checkpoints are legal and not in violation of the Fourth Amendment. This is based particularly on data that shows that DUI checkpoints reduce DUI accidents and protect the public from such crashes. However, despite the Supreme Court’s decision regarding these stops, some states have determined that they will not allow them to happen within their borders.
Illinois is not one of these states. In Belleville and communities throughout Illinois, drivers may find themselves subject to DUI assessment if they drive through an established checkpoint. Although DUI checkpoints are generally legal and permissible in the state, there are instances when a person arrested for drunk driving may be able to challenge the conditions under which the checkpoint was operated or the manner in which the law enforcement officials selected vehicles for stopping.
As with other stops for suspected drunk driving, individuals facing alcohol-related driving charges based on DUI checkpoints can choose to work with DUI and criminal defense attorneys to guide them through their legal dilemmas. Attorneys who practice this area of law are well-suited to explain their clients’ rights and options for defending themselves against their pending charges.