ARRESTED FOR DUI? CALL (888) 388-9151 FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION!
During major holidays, and sometimes on normal weekends, you may find yourself stuck in a sobriety checkpoint in DuPage County or elsewhere in Illinois.
Do you know what your rights are in these checkpoints? Read further to prepare yourself so that you can fight in your defense in case you are wrongfully arrested at an Illinois sobriety checkpoint.
ARE SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?
In Illinois, DUI checkpoints are a hot topic. Many parties argue that they are a violation of people’s rights, but the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that these checkpoints are in the interest of public safety. The real issue is whether or not the individuals’ rights to privacy are violated.
Checkpoints for DUI are legal in Illinois. However, that doesn’t mean that every DUI arrest made at these checkpoints are lawful ones. Many factors can lead to a wrongful arrest and license suspension, including:
- Police misconduct
- False field sobriety test results
- Faulty blood and breath test results
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Violation of your right to privacy
Officers do NOT have the right to search your person or your vehicle during a sobriety checkpoint unless there is valid ground for suspicion. You may have grounds to fight your arrest if officers searched your vehicle or your person without having any reason to believe that you were carrying or transporting illegal substances.
THE DUI CHECKPOINTS PROCEDURE
OFFICERS MUST BE IMPARTIAL
There must be a set system for choosing which vehicles are to be stopped, such as every third vehicle or every single vehicle. Choosing vehicles at random or by appearance is unlawful. Do you think you were stopped simply because of the officer’s bias? You may be able to fight your DUI if you have evidence of a wrongful checkpoint stop.
OFFICERS WILL EXPLAIN WHAT’S GOING ON & ASK QUESTIONS
When you pull into the checkpoint, an officer will have you roll down your window and explain that they are conducting a sobriety check. He or she will then ask for you your driver’s license and (sometimes) registration, which you must provide. Generally, the officer will continue to ask you basic questions such as:
- “Where are you coming from?”
- “Have you been drinking?”
- “How old are you?”
- “Where do you live?”
You are not legally obligated to answer any questions . You can answer the questions if you want, but it is possible to incriminate yourself simply by answering routine questions. Once the officer has seen your license and registration, you have the right to respectfully decline providing any further information. The officer may try to intimidate you into speaking up – simply inform him or her, with respect, that you know your rights and would rather not discuss anything further.
OFFICER MAY CONDUCT SOBRIETY TESTS
If the officer has reason to believe that you are intoxicated – such as the smell of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, or inability to pay attention to instructions, then he or she may take you aside for testing. You may be asked to perform field sobriety tests or to take a breath test. You have the right to refuse these tests; however, refusing a breath test will result in automatic license suspension.
ARRESTED AT A DUI CHECKPOINT? CALL MARTIN & KENT!
For more than 42 years combined, Martin & Kent, L.L.C. has provided solid defense against all kinds of criminal charges. No DUI charge is too big for us to handle. Just read through our case results to see some of the tough cases that we’ve won for our clients! Call us now at (888) 388-9151 if you need a DuPage County DUI attorney. We’ll fight for you!