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Requirements for a Legal DUI Checkpoints

Posted on : January 20, 2017, By:  J Brian Kelley
Mississippi DUI Attorney

In the U.S., DUI checkpoints are legal, but they must follow certain guidelines. Learn what these guidelines are and how an attorney can help you after a drunk driving arrest.

DUI Checkpoint Requirements

Supervisors Must Establish the Checkpoint 

When and where to set up a DUI checkpoint must be decided upon by upper-level officers. Two street officers cannot decide to place an impromptu checkpoint at a place without prior approval.

Vehicles Must Be Stopped According to a Neutral Formula 

Many people think that DUI checkpoints involve random stops, but this isn’t true. Instead, officers must use a neutral formula to select which vehicles are stopped. This same formula must be used for all vehicles going through the stop.

The Checkpoint is Well Lit with Warning Signs

The area of the checkpoint must be lit and adequate safety precautions must be in place, including officers wearing reflective vests if the checkpoint is being held at night and having proper warning signs for motorists before they reach the checkpoint.

The Length of the DUI Checkpoint Must Be Considered Reasonable

Law enforcement officers cannot operate a DUI checkpoint for several days. Instead, they must operate the checkpoint for a reasonable amount of time, which is typically determined before the checkpoint is established.

Motorists Must Be Informed of the Reason for the Checkpoint

When a DUI checkpoint is established, it must be clear to motorists that the stop is official. Law enforcement officers must also act according to this, meaning, they can only investigate potential DUI’s and not other matters that they wish to investigate.

The Amount of Time a Vehicle is Stopped Must Be Reasonable

A vehicle cannot be stopped for hours during a DUI checkpoint. Each vehicle that stops must be checked over in a reasonable amount of time. Procedures should be in place ahead of time to ensure that motorists are not being held during the stop for longer than is necessary.

When to Contact a DUI Lawyer

If you were pulled over at a DUI checkpoint and arrested for driving while intoxicated, contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you determine if all the requirements for the checkpoint were met. Contact J. Brian Kelley today to learn more by calling (662) 324-3476.

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