In the state of California, DUI checkpoints find and arrest drunk drivers. Typically, DUI checkpoints are located on highways or surface streets. If DUI symptoms are observed, the driver will be asked to step out of their vehicle and perform field sobriety tests.
In the U.S. Supreme Court Case, The Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S., 444 (190), the court ruled that DUI checkpoints do not violate the Fourth Amendment’s forbidding of unreasonable searches and seizures. It was determined that sobriety checkpoints prevailed over the constitutional rights of the individual citizens. As a result, the government’s concern for identifying drunk drivers and reducing deaths made the intrusion of human privacy rights at sobriety checkpoints admissible.
DUI attorneys should contemplate the accuracy and adequacy of the procedures employed during DUI checkpoints. Chief Justice Rehnquist has stated that there should be “guidelines” to administer a sobriety test in an acceptable manner. The California Supreme Court set the best guidelines required for DUI checkpoints to be in compliance with the Constitution. Ingersoll v. Palmer, 743 P.2d 1299 (Cal. 1987).