Michigan criminal defense attorney

Warnings About Sobriety Checkpoints

DUI checkpoint

Have you ever been stopped because of a sobriety checkpoint?

Did you know there are more drunk drivers on the road during the holidays?

If you thought having an extra drink at the holiday party was a good idea, you might want to reconsider.

This holiday season, you might see a sobriety checkpoint while you are traveling from one party to the next. A sobriety checkpoint is when police are set up to test the blood alcohol levels of the drivers on the road. They are doing this because around the holidays, there are typically more drivers that are driving intoxicated.

Prior to 1990, people all around the country were surprised by sobriety checkpoints. Without any warning, police would set up shop and require motorists to adhere to a sobriety test. However, a case out of Michigan put an end to the surprise check points.

According to Valley Independent Sentinel:

In the 1990 case, the Michigan appeals court had ruled that DUI checkpoints violated the Fourth Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court overruled, using a balancing act to determine that the dangers posed by drunk driving outweighed the Fourth Amendment intrusion.

The case was sent back to the Michigan Supreme Court and the court “side-stepped the U.S Supreme Court” by deciding that the state’s constitution was violated by the sobriety checkpoints.

Now, if police would like to do a sobriety check point in Michigan, the public must be informed of it prior to the checkpoint being established.

Michigan is one of only 10 other states that have a ban on sobriety checkpoints.

If you have been issued a DUI due to a sobriety checkpoint, make sure to contact me before moving forward because having an informed and experienced legal representation can be all the difference.

This article was published on: December 7, 2012 and was last modified December 10, 2012