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As a general rule, law enforcement officials must have “reasonable suspicion” to conduct a traffic stop. This means that they must have a valid reason to suspect that the driver has committed a punishable offense; and if they conduct a traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, any evidence obtained as a result of the stop should be banned from trial.
DUI checkpoints are an exception to this general rule. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state police can stop drivers without reasonable suspicion in order to determine if they are operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Since then, police in Haddon Heights and throughout New Jersey have been using checkpoints aggressively to stop and arrest people for DUI.
Yes. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints were legal in 1990, the police have had the authority to require drivers to stop for inspection at lawfully-operated checkpoints.
Yes. Once you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the police officers operating the checkpoint can do everything they have the power to do during a normal traffic stop. This includes asking you to submit to the Alcotest (or “breathalyzer”). If you refuse a breath test at a DUI checkpoint in Haddon Heights or elsewhere in New Jersey, the police can charge you with a DUI refusal.
While the police cannot force you to take a breath test against your will, you can face steep penalties if you refuse the test after being informed of the consequences of refusal.
They can ask, but you are not required to consent. Unlike the breath test, you are not required to submit to field sobriety tests (FSTs) in New Jersey.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 1990, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision outlining certain guidelines for lawful DUI checkpoints. Federal authorities have established national guidelines for DUI checkpoints as well. These guidelines include:
If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint, you could have a variety of defenses available, and you should speak with an attorney about your case as soon as possible. Our Haddon Heights DUI defense lawyers have decades of experience representing clients charged with DUI, and we can help minimize the consequences of your DUI checkpoint arrest.
To speak with one of our attorneys, please call (856) 547-7888 or request a confidential consultation online. If necessary, we can take action immediately to preserve your legal rights.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.