Beware of DUI Roadblocks this Holiday Season

In Illinois, a common practice used by police to bust drunk drivers is the use of DUI Roadblocks, otherwise referred to as Safety Checkpoints. Use of roadblocks to identify intoxicated drivers is legally permissible, only if utilized correctly by police. If you have been arrested for DUI following a roadblock stop, do not automatically assume that the stop, search, and arrest was proper, as the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution still affords citizens protection against unlawful search and seizure.

The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that, if done properly, roadblocks do not unreasonably intrude into an individual’s privacy because intoxicated motorists pose a substantial risk to the safety and welfare of other motorists. With that said, police are not granted unfettered freedom of intrusion, and are still governed by principles of reasonable suspicion to stop an individual and probable cause to make an arrest.

For a roadblock to be valid, the certain requirements must be met:

1. The police agency must have made advance public notice of the roadblock.
2. The police officers conducting the roadblock must be given specific instructions for operating the traffic stops and must adhere to those standards.
3. The stop of vehicles cannot be random, but must be made in a set sequence; every other vehicle, every third vehicle, etc.
4. The use of the roadblock must be a minimal stop to check for a valid driver’s license and then make brief visual observations of the interior of the car and the driver.
5. To make a more prolonged and detailed investigation of the driver, the officer must make specific and articulable observations of drug and/or alcohol use.
6. If the officer does make specific and articulable observations of drug and/or alcohol use, the officer may continue with the stop, but still must have probable cause to make an arrest.

If you have been arrested as the result of a roadblock, it is important that you consult with an attorney experienced in DUI and criminal defense. The defense attorneys at The Davis Law Group, P.C. have years of experience handling these cases throughout Illinois including Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties.

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