Roadside sobriety checkpoints are designed to allow law enforcement official to randomly stop and question motorists and to look for any evidence they may be DUI. While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that such checkpoints are justified to protect public safety they also ruled that the motorists' rights to privacy must be protected and left it up to each state to ensure that it is done. If you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and were arrested on DUI charges, you need to speak to a Chicago DUI lawyer at The Toney Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible.
Remember Your Rights: Your right to remain silent means that you do not have to answer any questions an officer at a checkpoint might ask you. You will need to provide your license and registration but any questions about where you're going or where you've been do not need to be answered.
Officers at a sobriety checkpoint are looking for any evidence that could indicate the driver is under the influence such as confusion, having a flushed face, slurred speech or any other such symptoms. They do not have the right to search your car. You can refuse to submit to a field sobriety test but the officer may chose to arrest you based on everything he's observed. Refusing the field sobriety tests will limit the amount of evidence the prosecution can use against you at trial, and for any of you who have tried to stand on one leg or walk a straight line in a stressful situation, you know it is hard to "pass" these tests while sober.
You may also refuse a Breathalyzer, but you will be suspended for 1 year if it is your first offense or 3 years it it's not your first offense. However, if you submit to a Breathalyzer and blow .08 or more, you will also be suspended. This does not include the breathalyzer, or PBT, on the road. This is inadmissible at trial and is only used to determine probable cause to arrest you. The PBT is highly unreliable and subject to many different factors which effect it's validity, and this is why it is not admissible at trial.
When a person is arrested for a DUI at such a checkpoint the burden of proof placed on the prosecution will be that the arresting officer did not violate your rights and that the checkpoint legally complied with Illinois statutes. Your attorney understands all the laws involved and if there was no actual evidence to support your arrest you may have a good chance of getting your charges dismissed. As with all DUI cases it is vital to seek qualified legal representation as early as possible to protect your rights and keep your license from being suspended.
Call today for a free case evaluation to discuss your sobriety checkpoint arrest with Attorney Sarah Toney. Her firm is prepared to aggressively fight for you to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Chicago if you have been arrested for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint and protect your rights.