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Your Rights When Approaching an Illinois DUI Checkpoint

Posted on in Criminal Law

Your Rights When Approaching an Illinois DUI CheckpointStates disagree on the legality of DUI checkpoints – spots where police officers stop passing vehicles to see if drivers show signs of being intoxicated. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that checkpoints could be legal but let states decide how to conduct them properly. Twelve states, including neighboring Wisconsin, consider them illegal because they stop drivers without establishing reasonable suspicion of a crime. Illinois is among the states that do allow DUI checkpoints. If you find yourself approaching a checkpoint, you need to understand how they work and your rights.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Police can create a DUI checkpoint at any time and place but most commonly use them during holiday weekends at locations where DUI arrests are common. They may use media outlets to announce checkpoints in advance in hopes of discouraging drunk driving. Police must follow several rules in order to legally conduct a checkpoint:

  • They cannot select a location that would cause unnecessary traffic jams or create dangerous situations for drivers;
  • They must use signs, lights or signal flares to alert drivers of the upcoming checkpoint;
  • All officers and vehicles must be cleared marked as belonging to law enforcement;
  • They cannot unreasonably detain drivers who show no signs of intoxication or other suspicious activity;
  • They must have reasonable suspicion in order to force a person to step out of the vehicle or to search the vehicle; and
  • They cannot arrest someone without probable cause that a crime has been committed.

Your Rights

You are allowed to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint as long as you make a legal turn. If you do go through the checkpoint, you have the same rights as someone whom police have pulled over:

  • You cannot be forced to say anything that might incriminate you, such as admitting to drinking;
  • You can refuse field sobriety tests and chemical tests to check your blood alcohol concentration; and
  • If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and to deny providing a blood sample until police produce a warrant.

It is important to remain calm when passing through a checkpoint. Nervousness or agitation may create suspicion and cause officers to look for signs of intoxication.

Contact a Crystal Lake Criminal Defense Attorney

DUI checkpoints are already on shaky legal ground because they arguably violate the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can determine whether police violated your civil rights during the arrest process. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2625&context=cklawreview

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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