DUI Checkpoints

Common, routine DUI stops in California require the arresting officer to have probable trigger to quit and question a motorist. For instance, visitors violations, such as a missing headlight or no brake lights, supply probable trigger for an officer to cease and query a motorist.  Additionally, erratic driving behavior, such as speeding, swerving or failure to maintain a single lane, supplies legitimacy for stopping a motorist.  In contrast to these common situations top to DUI arrests, San Diego DUI checkpoints serve as an exception to this rule. Controversial California law enables law enforcement to set up and conduct systematic targeted traffic stops to determine and curb driving under the influence. To be constitutional beneath state and federal law, checkpoints should adhere to following recommendations established by the California Supreme Court following the Ingersoll v. Palmer (1987) ruling.



San Diego DUI Checkpoint Recommendations



  1. Checkpoint procedures & decisions involving the execution and operation of DUI checkpoints must be produced by supervisory law enforcement personnel, rather than field officers. This requirement is meant to prevent the possible for arbitrary and inconsistent enforcement.

  2. Targeted traffic stop criteria need to be neutral & predetermined. Supervising officers governing the checkpoint have to determine the procedure for stopping cars ahead of time.  The procedure utilised must consist of a neutral mathematical element.  For instance, stopping each third or fifth car.  This requirement is meant to stop motorists from being subject to the “unbridled discretion” of the field officer conducting the stop.

  3. The checkpoint have to be performed in a reasonable location. Checkpoints should be positioned in places exactly where there are high instances of DUI accidents and/or arrests.

  4. Even though operating the checkpoint, officers have to prioritize the maintenance of security circumstances. Minimum safety situations contain appropriate lighting, warning signs and signals, and clearly identifiable official vehicles and personnel. Adequate safety procedures strive to reduce danger to each motorists and the police.

  5. Related to the reasonable location requirement, the DUI checkpoint must be carried out at a practical time for a reasonable duration. Supervising officers are anticipated to utilize “good judgement” when picking the time of day and duration of the checkpoint.  San Diego checkpoints usually occur on weekends beginning in the late evening and ending in the early morning.

  6. The initial quit need to be minimally intrusive and short. If the driver fails to exhibit any indicators of intoxication or other illegal behavior, the cease shouldn’t exceed a couple of minutes.  Nonetheless, if the driver exhibits symptoms of impairment, he or she can be directed to a secondary screening area and detained for a longer period of time.

  7. The checkpoint should be simply identifiable and give clear sophisticated warning to approaching vehicles. Drivers need to be made conscious that the cease is a DUI checkpoint operated by law enforcement. Typical checkpoint indicators include the presence of numerous marked police automobiles and uniformed officers, warning signs, flashing lights, and cones.  Additionally, drivers should be effectively warned in advance that they are approaching a police checkpoint.

  8. Advance notification that police will be conducting a DUI checkpoint is not legally essential. However, San Diego police usually notify the public in advance when and exactly where a checkpoint will occur.  The courts think that advance notice actually prevents individuals from drinking and driving.

San Diego law enforcement officials must abide by many laws to operate a checkpoint legally.  Failure to effectively comply with any of the suggestions talked about above could result in a false arrest.  If you or a loved one was not too long ago arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, it is essential to speak to an skilled DUI attorney who has a complete understanding of the laws surrounding San Diego DUI checkpoints.



Typical Troubles with DUI Checkpoints Occur When:



  1. Police officers stop and detain drivers who “avoid” the roadblock by turning around or turning off the road prior to going via an announced roadblock.

According to Ingersoll v. Palmer, “Checkpoint personnel were especially instructed that drivers had been not to be stopped merely for avoiding the checkpoint. The road sign announcing the checkpoint was placed sufficiently in advance of the checkpoint that motorists could decide on to stay away from the checkpoint.”  It is illegal for police officers to quit and detain a motorist solely due to the fact he or she avoided going by means of the announced DUI roadblock.  Creating a turn, even if for the admitted purpose of avoiding the roadblock, does not give legitimate result in to stop and detain a driver.  In these instances, the proof collected after the illegal quit may be thrown out.



  1. Police officers administer breath tests using a mobile breath test device.

Frequently instances, breath tests administered in the field can lead to inaccurate readings.  Devices employed in the field are frequently topic to harm leading to calibration errors.  The reliability of breath benefits obtained in the field can frequently be challenged on several grounds.  For instance, Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations calls for officers to observe individuals constantly for a minimum of 15 minutes just before administering the test.  This requirement is usually overlooked in DUI arrest circumstances.



Choosing an Aggressive, Knowledgeable & Skilled Lawyer



Special proof should be acquired to arrest somebody for DUI at checkpoint. The suggestions set forth in Ingersoll v. Palmer supply a number of test elements to analyze the legality of a California DUI checkpoint arrest.  Place just, it supplies the foundation to construct a powerful DUI defense.  The lawfulness of a DUI arrest may possibly be challenged if the DUI checkpoint failed to adhere to any individual of the really distinct legal requirements, possibly resulting in a dismissal of the charges.  Selecting a knowledgeable, aggressive and legally savvy DUI attorney is the necessary very first step soon after becoming arrested for DUI.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79iwPDV61Qk