Was my DUI checkpoint stop illegal? 13 Answers as of January 03, 2013

I was drivin through a DUI checkpoint and got reconized by an officer that I had gotten a couple of run ins with during the past. It was the same guy who arrested me one night during a bar fight but I never got charged for that fight because it wasnt my fault and was dropped. When he saw me pulling through the DUI stop he snapped his fingers at the other cop n was kind of moving his head to tell the other cop to check me. I dont really drive a nice car and I guess I dont really dress all fancy either so part of me feels like i was being descriminated against. They halted the whole stop and caused a scene to check my car and I blew a .09 and I got arrested. Was this an illegal stop because they recognized me and checked me just cause of my past? It was not a random check.

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Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
Alcohol checkpoints in MA are subject to very strict rules about who they can pull over and how the cars to be pulled over are selected. It sounds like they did not follow their procedure since the stops are supposed to be random, based upon a system of numbers or some other non-discriminatory manner. Since they singled you out, they probably violated the requirement and you may be able to have to stop thrown out. You will need a lawyer and you really shouldn't waste time in hiring one. I practice mainly criminal defense and DUIs are a large part of my case load.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/3/2013
Grant & Grant
Grant & Grant | Richard L. Grant, Esq.
Need to hire experienced criminal attorney, as the check point will be considered legal if they were announced to the public in some manner. An experienced DUI attorney should be able to get a wet reckless instead of a DUI Conviction with a .09 bac. This will reduce your probation conditions and your fine It will also make a difference in the future when trying to get a job. Remember, you have only 10 calendar days to contact the DMV and request a DMV hearing to object the suspension of your license.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/2/2013
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
Probably there was noting wrong with the stop. Maybe, on account of the low breathalizer reading .09 you may be able to receive a deferred prosecution in lieu of a conviction. Provided that you have no significant prior criminal history.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 1/2/2013
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
Good sense says that you're right. But courts are reluctant to dismiss a case for lack of reasonable suspicion, which is the legal standard for a permissible stop. Your best bet is to find an experienced lawyer to evaluate all the facts and represent you.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 1/2/2013
Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
A checkpoint must be approved by the county prosecutor who sets rules for stopping vehicles. It might be that all cars are stopped or every fifth car is stopped. The prosecutor's conditions for the checkpoint are always set forth in writing.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 1/3/2013
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    DUI checkpoints are illegal in Texas in general
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/3/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly. You need to hire a DUI specialist to file a 1538.5 motion to challenge the stop. They clearly deviated from the "random" protocol that was set in place.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2012
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    This stop my be argued. Under people versus Palmer the officers at a cheek point have to pull cars over based on a defined scheme. If they pull you over just because they don't like you and they go off of that scheme you can challenge the stop.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/28/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    No, it is not illegal because they are familiar with you. It is your assumption that you were checked because of your past.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/28/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It might be depending on your state law. Checkpoints are illegal in Washington State so I presume you are in another state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/28/2012
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If it was a check point, they would have checked you and smelled alcohol on your breath and then administered a test. Hire a lawyer to review the entire check point to see if it was legal.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/28/2012
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