Menifee DUI Checkpoint Planned for May 30

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced that a DUI/driver’s license checkpoint will be conducted in Menifee on Friday, May 30 at an undisclosed location within the city between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. The operation will be administered by the Menifee Police Department Traffic Unit.

The announcement stresses that DUI checkpoints are a strong deterrent that can potentially reduce the risk of death or injury due to drunk driving accidents. However, it is essential to balance the public interest in preventing traffic deaths with the Constitution’s guarantee of a right to privacy and a right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures.

If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, it is important that you understand your rights and it is crucial that you are aware of the requirements that must be followed for the checkpoint to be permissible under the California Constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

DUI Checkpoints and Your Legal Rights

There are eight specific guidelines that must be followed in order for a DUI checkpoint to be considered constitutional. These guidelines include:

  • All operational decisions must be made by supervising officers.
  • Neutral criteria must be used for deciding which motorists to stop.
  • The checkpoint must be in a reasonable location where it is likely to be effective at preventing intoxicated driving.
  • Safety precautions must be taken to protect motorists.
  • The duration and time of the security checkpoint must reflect good judgment.
  • The checkpoint must provide sufficient notice of its official nature.
  • Law enforcement should detain drivers for the minimum time possible.
  • Advanced notice of roadblocks must be publicly made.

If police fail to comply with any of the requirements, then those stopped at the DUI checkpoint can challenge the legality of the traffic stop.

If You Are Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint

If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, police must have reasonable cause to administer a breath test to you. This means that they must have a reason to suspect you are intoxicated. If police believe you are impaired by alcohol or drugs, then you will need to submit to a test to determine your sobriety because of implied consent laws in California.

Implied consent laws mean that when you drive on the roads in Riverside County or elsewhere in the state, you are agreeing to a blood alcohol content test if impairment is suspected. A refusal to submit to a test of your BAC could result in the suspension of your license and could be used as evidence in a DUI case. You do not, however, have to submit to either field sobriety tests or a handheld breathalyzer test.

An experienced attorney can help you determine if police acted within the bounds of the law and if evidence collected at a DUI checkpoint can be used against you. The best option you have is to stay sober, especially with the Sheriff’s announcement of an upcoming DUI checkpoint this Friday. If you are pulled over and charged with drunk driving, call Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP right away. We represent clients throughout Riverside County who have been charged with drunk driving crimes and we can protect your legal rights.

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