DUI checkpoints are used very commonly in finding and arresting drunk drivers throughout California. The police agency will set up a sobriety checkpoint on the highway or surface streets and if the selected drivers show any symptoms of a DUI, he or she will be asked to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests at the scene.
DUI checkpoints were declared constitutional. The Courts in Michigan found in the case of The Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S., 444 (190) stated that DUI checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. It was ruled in favor that interests of government in identifying DUI drivers and reducing the fatalities overturned the intrusion of human privacy rights and sobriety checkpoints were acceptable.
DUI lawyers must consider the accuracy and adequacy of the procedures employed. It is acknowledged by Chief Justice Rehnquist, there should be some “guidelines” in place to conduct a sobriety test in a permissible manner. The California Supreme Court put forward the best safeguards required for the sobriety checkpoint to comply with the Constitution. Ingersoll v. Palmer, 743 P.2d 1299 (Cal. 1987).