Driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints are a tool that law enforcement uses to catch drunk drivers and purportedly also to increase the perceived risk of arrest, thereby reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road. While many legal commentators argue that the use of DUI checkpoints is clearly unconstitutional in light of the requirements of the 4th Amendment, the United States Supreme Court has created an exception allowing their use based on the interest of public safety.
According to a report published by the Coloradan, 9 people were a recent checkpoint conducted in Fort Collins. Law enforcement stopped 822 vehicles during a period of approximately 3 hours, and the checkpoint was located in the Moby Arena parking lot, close to several bars that are along Campus West. Of the 8 arrests, 6 were accused of drunk driving while the other two were arrested on suspicion of the underage possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Checkpoints can result in over-aggressive policing
Simply because you find yourself in a DUI checkpoint does not mean that your legal rights are temporarily suspended. Law enforcement is still required to have probable cause to search you or your vehicle. You are under no obligation to consent to a search or answer any questions. When law enforcement violates your legal rights, any evidence that they gather may be excluded from any proceedings against you. This may mean that the state is forced to drop your case or that the court dismissed your case for lack of evidence. In addition, these defenses may also be available in a case arising from a DUI checkpoint arrest:
- Challenging the DUI checkpoint procedures – While DUI checkpoints have been deemed constitutionally permissible, they must be conducted subject to certain legal limitations. If they are not, the entire stop may be considered invalid.
- Introducing evidence that a breathalyzer test result was caused by a medical condition – There are certain medical conditions – such as GERD or acid reflux – that can cause inaccurately high breathalyzer results.
- Arguing that a breathalyzer test was improperly administered – If a breathalyzer device was improperly calibrated or the officer administering the test was not properly trained in the administration of the test, it may result in the exclusion of the test result from evidence.
There are other defenses that may be available depending on the specific facts of your case, so anyone who has been arrested after going through a DUI checkpoint in Colorado should call a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Denver DUI defense attorney for legal representation
Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs can have serious consequences under Colorado law. It is important for people who have been accused of DUI to understand that an arrest does not always lead to a conviction, and in many instances an attorney can help people obtain deferred judgment or even case dismissal. For people who are intent on taking their case to trial, the assistance of an experienced attorney is a necessity. At the Tiftickjian Law Firm, our attorneys are committed to defending the legal rights of people accused of DUI. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at (303) DUI-5280 or send us an email through our online contact form.