DUI or sobriety checkpoints, also referred to as mobile checkpoints or roadblocks, are permitted in Arizona. They refer to police traffic stops that are not tied to any specific or individual suspicions. They may be set up at a random location for a short period of time at a chosen location in order to stop and identify motorists who may be driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. These checkpoints also help identify other traffic offenders or violators, such as those driving on a suspended license, or those driving without a valid license.
Based on estimates, the average cost of conducting a DUI checkpoint in Arizona is approximately $8,900 per checkpoint. Estimates also show that the state of Arizona saves approximately $62,500 per checkpoint when it comes to police resources, cost of travel delays, and the value of mobility losses as a result of impaired drivers apprehended and sanctioned.
What Happens At A Sobriety Checkpoint?
Drivers passing through a sobriety checkpoint are briefly detained and interviewed. The officer will ask then to roll down their window and answer some basic questions. Drivers will also be asked for their driver’s license, registration, and proof of car insurance. The officer will also ask them where they are coming from and where are they headed.
The officer will usually look for signs of intoxication, such as if the driver smelled of alcohol, has bloodshot eyes, has a flushed face, has slurred speech, or is showing lack of coordination. If the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence, they will ask them whether they have been drinking. The driver will be instructed to move their vehicle to the side of the road and step out of the car. The officer will also issue standard field sobriety tests or do a breathalyzer test using a handheld breathalyzer.
The goal of these checkpoints is to identify drunk and intoxicated drivers and to keep them off the roads. Based on statistics provided by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), sobriety checkpoints have the potential to prevent approximately 1 out of 10 DUI-related deaths.
Police Need Probable Cause To Arrest Someone In Arizona
In Arizona as well as in other states, police need probable cause to stop someone and interrogate them. However, sobriety checkpoints are an exception to the search and seizure provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the “degree of intrusion” of sobriety checkpoints are outweighed by the dangers of drunk driving.
The National Highway Safety Transportation Board has issued guidelines for police officers when administering sobriety checkpoints. The first and the most important guideline is that police must publicize the checkpoints ahead of time. If you have been stopped at a DUI sobriety checkpoint in Arizona and are facing drunk driving charges, you need to get in touch with a DUI defense attorney.
Contact a DUI Defense Attorney
Protecting your rights is important as a citizen is important therefore, you must not waste time if you have been stopped and questioned at a sobriety checkpoint. Contact the law office of Brian D. Sloan at 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation.