I have heard that a DUI checkpoint needs to be highly visible. If I could not see the DUI checkpoint until after I passed the last legal exit from the road, would that be grounds for dismissing any evidence collected from the checkpoint? Basically, it was about 1/3 of a mile from the last intersection before I could see the checkpoint (road curved and went down a hill).
Yes, there are specific state requirements for sign postings for DUI checkpoints that would allow a person to avoid the checkpoint. The law enforcement agency has to have filed an approved plan with set details about how to handle the checkpoint. I would sit down with a criminal defense attorney or a public defender for representation in this case. You simply do not want to try to handle this case by yourself. Even attorneys hire other attorneys to help them in these situations.
There are a number of criteria for a DUI checkpoint to pass constitutional muster. What you have mentioned is one of those criteria.
A qualified DUI defense attorney will obtain additional evidence to determine if law enforcement complied with all criteria and explore additional avenues of your defense.
Contact one of the many attorneys here on Avvo. Most, myself included, offer a free initial consultation.
Best of luck to you.
Yes. I presume you were arrested for DUi after reaching a checkpoint. As a former prosecutor, I used to advise local law enforcement how to manage and operate sobriety checkpoints and I know there are a number of rules and regulations regarding the same. Clear visibility is indeed a prerequisite, but "clear" is subject to interpretation. Setting up such a checkpoint on hills is taboo. You are writing from Lakewood, so I am curious as to where the checkpoint is set up. I used to supervise checkpoints in Jefferson County.
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You don't actually have to see the checkpoint itself, but rather there has to be signage indicating a checkpoint is ahead and then there needs to be a lawful way to avoid the checkpoint after the posted signage. As others have mentioned, you need to consult with an experienced DUI attorney to see if this checkpoint and the evidence obtained from the checkpoint is valid and meets the constitutional requirements. This can only be done by discussing your specific facts directly with an attorney and through extensive research and work by the attorney. Hire the best attorney you can afford and hope for the best.
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