It is no secret that the Pennsylvania State Police and police departments throughout northeastern Pennsylvania are aggressively seeking to make DUI arrests during the holiday season. Often, the police will position themselves near local bars and restaurants and routinely set up random DUI checkpoints. Police only need minimal evidence that you have committed a traffic violation in order to justify stopping your vehicle. Additionally, DUI checkpoints will be set up across northeastern Pennsylvania to assist police in cracking down on drinking and driving.
If you approach a DUI checkpoint, you are within your rights to make a “legal” U-turn to avoid the checkpoint. Even if an officer sees you do this, his hunch that you are intoxicated is insufficient to justify him pulling you over.
The United States Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the use of DUI checkpoints by police. However, this does not mean that every checkpoint is legal and the Pennsylvania courts have interpreted the law regarding the validity of DUI checkpoints to provide greater constitutional protections for citizens. In order for a DUI checkpoint to be upheld as constitutional there must be strict adherence to guidelines by police which include following a specified procedure, conducting the checkpoint in a systematic way and being non-discriminatory and non arbitrary in setting up the roadblocks. In the event of a police stop for traffic violation or in the event of a random checkpoint stop you should cooperate with the police officer to the best of your ability. You should submit to a requested blood alcohol testing as your failure to submit to the test will result in a mandatory 12 month loss of license. The results of the blood alcohol test are susceptible to challenge as are all aspects of the police stop or random checkpoint inquiry. You should attempt to record as soon as possible the specifics of the police officer’s interaction with you so that you may relate that to an attorney. If there are witnesses to the police stop or the random checkpoint you should get the names and telephone numbers of the witnesses who may be able to provide valuable information regarding the adherence by the police to require procedural protocols.
You should contact an experience DUI attorney as soon as possible following the DUI arrest.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in northeastern Pennsylvania you should contact Attorney Frank J. Bolock, Jr. as soon as possible at 570 585 5600 for a free consultation. You have rights and options and Attorney Bolock will listen to the details of your arrest and discuss with you your concerns and fully advise you of the options that you have in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Early intervention by Attorney Bolock will allow him to provide his experience, knowledge, contacts and relationships to work for you. He is available 24/7 – he works nights and weekends!