In City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly prohibited DUI checkpoints that are set up with the primary intention of catching and prosecuting drunk drivers. Despite this, roadblocks are often set up to do just that. Not surprisingly, an experienced Pierce County DUI lawyer will question officers at a suppression hearing about the circumstances of the roadblock and why it was established.
An Example of a Questioning
A skilled Pierce County DUI attorney may conduct the questioning regarding the matter in the following way:
DUI ATTORNEY: Sergeant, who was in charge of the DUI checkpoint that night?
OFFICER: I was.
DUI ATTORNEY: You planned the particulars of the operation?
OFFICER: Yes. I have extensive experience in setting up these kinds of checkpoints, so I am typically the one who is put in charge of them.
[When determining the purpose of a checkpoint, it is generally best to question an officer at the “programmatic level,” which is clearly established here.]
DUI ATTORNEY: You make decisions regarding the duration, time of day, location and things like that?
DUI ATTORNEY: The checkpoint was on Main Street?
DUI ATTORNEY: It started at 9:00 p.m.?
DUI ATTORNEY: It finished at 2:00 a.m.?
[These three preceding questions are asked to put the witness at ease, which increases the odds that they will volunteer helpful answers.]
DUI ATTORNEY: Four people were arrested for DUI that night?
OFFICER: Yes, including your client. He was very impaired. I obviously put the checkpoint at the right place. We netted four impaired drivers.
[The officer shows that he is at ease and volunteering answers, so it’s the perfect time to ask the most important question.]
DUI ATTORNEY: That’s the whole point of such a roadblock, correct — to arrest and prosecute people who are violating drunk driving laws?
[An affirmative answer will allow a Pierce County DUI lawyer to use the Edmond suppression motion defense.]
OFFICER: Yes, it is.
Hire an Experienced Pierce County DUI Attorney
The best defense against DUI charges stemming from a checkpoint is retaining a skilled professional. Call Greene & Lloyd, PLLC at 253-770-0808 today.