Sobriety Checkpoints and DWI Arrests

checkpointNow that the New Jersey weather is finally warming up, that often means DUI checkpoints are going to be in full swing again soon. Warm weather can indeed impact the frequency of DUI arrests. More people go out to events such as outdoor concerts, festivals, sporting events and parties during nice weather and many of these events serve alcohol. As a result, more intoxicated drivers are on the road with alcohol in their system during these upcoming warmer months. It also means that law enforcement will be on high alert wherever these events are held and may even set up sobriety checkpoints.

Sobriety Checkpoints? But What About Probable Cause?

Although DUI or sobriety checkpoints are prohibited in some states, they are legal in New Jersey. Though they are temporary and “random”, you can check roadblock.org or duiblock.com for updates. However, the question that DWI lawyers are often asked is whether a police officer needs to have probable cause before stopping someone. Indeed, the Constitution requires that a police officer has probable cause for a traffic stop, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the dangers from drunk driving outweigh the “degree of intrusion” of sobriety checkpoints. They are considered an exception to the search and seizure provision of the US Constitution. Consequently, the National Highway Safety Transportation Board has issued procedures for police regarding sobriety checkpoints including the publicizing of checkpoints ahead of time.

Can I Use The Fair Flyer I Saw All About On YouTube?

You may have seen the “Fair DUI Flyer” sweeping across YouTube recently. The flyer was created by an attorney in Florida which allows drivers pulled over at DUI checkpoints to avoid searches in stop areas. The Fair DUI Flyer starts by stating, “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer.” It goes on to state that the driver will not open their window. This piece of paper, though, will not work for New Jersey drivers. We thoroughly addressed this topic in our recent blog post, “Can the DUI Flyer Save You From a DUI Arrest?

So, If I Get Pulled Over, Is the Standardized Field Sobriety Test Reliable?

When police pull over a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other substances, a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is often given to correctly judge the current state of the driver but errors by the officer could put the findings in doubt. Find out more about this topic and the horizontal gaze Nystagmus test in our recent blog post, “Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) Reliable?

 

Contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI in New Jersey, you need a DWI attorney to represent you in court. Call 888-389-9533 today for a free initial consultation. The team at Villani & DeLuca is highly familiar with the NHTSA’s rules and regulations. The DUI attorneys at Villani & DeLuca have undergone the same field sobriety test training that police officers receive to better acquaint themselves with the procedure. We represent clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, and the rest of New Jersey.

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