Beverly Hills DUI Checkpoints
Law enforcement agencies in and around the Beverly Hills area have increasingly used Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints to promote DUI detection and enforce the DUI laws pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) .
Before the emergence of Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints, law enforcement officers in the area had to have probable cause to believe that a driver was committing some violation of the California Vehicle Code or California Penal Code before they could justify stopping that vehicle. This usually meant traffic or equipment violations observed by an officer on patrol.
Beverly Hills driving under the influence checkpoints establish an exception to the general rule that probable cause must exist before a vehicle can be stopped and a driver can be questioned. Beverly Hills DUI sobriety checkpoints allow law enforcement officers to inspect and question every driver passing through the checkpoint in order to enforce the DUI laws. For the checkpoint to be permitted under the Constitution, Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints must follow specific guidelines set forth by the California Supreme Court in Ingersoll v. Palmer. If the guidelines are violated, any resulting DUI charge may be invalid.
Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints must be held at places where there has been a history of frequent Beverly Hills DUI arrests and collisions and at times where more people are driving drunk in Beverly Hills. This typically translates into checkpoints situated on main thoroughfares and during evenings and weekends.
Someone driving into a Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint will usually be stopped briefly by a uniformed law enforcement officer. This officer will engage the driver in conversation to determine if any of the indicia of intoxication, such as smell of alcohol or bloodshot, watery eyes, are present. The officer will also quickly scan the automobile for items such as open bottles of alcohol or drug paraphernalia.
If the officer observes signs indicating that the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer will divert that driver to a separate area for a more detailed DUI investigation. If the officer does not quickly observe obvious signs that a driver may be under the influence, that driver will be allowed to pass through the checkpoint freely.
The California Supreme Court has established very strict rules that must be followed for a Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint to be Constitutionally valid.
It is required that all Beverly Hills DUI sobriety checkpoints are supervised by a senior law enforcement officer. This officer is responsible for selecting a suitable time and place for the Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint at a place known for numerous DUI incidents. This officer must also ensure that the Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint is performed in a completely unbiased manner. The checkpoint must follow clear criteria that are universally enforced. For example, checking every car or every other car would be acceptable guidelines for a Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint.
A Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint must be held in a location considered "reasonable." This means that the location and time must be consistent with prior occurrences of DUI incidents in the past. This also means that checkpoints must be conducted in a way that in no way endangers officers or the general public.
Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints must also be "visible." This means that the checkpoint must be clearly visible on the public road and marked with items such as flashing lights, floodlamps, patrol cars and the presence of uniformed officers. The visibility requirement also means that a checkpoint must be publicized in advance, usually through advertising in local media and law enforcement websites.
People may be surprised to learn that it is technically not against the law to avoid a Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint once spotted. However, it is important to remember that numerous officers are stationed at the perimeter of the checkpoints, and avoiding the checkpoint usually requires a driver to violate some rule of traffic, such as making an illegal U-turn. As a result, automobiles seen trying to turn around to avoid a Beverly Hills DUI checkpoint are often closely watched and usually stopped for some other violation of the law.
Because Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints must follow strict Constitutional guidelines to be deemed valid, it is crucial that you have a Beverly Hills DUI Checkpoint attorney handling your case if you were arrested at a sobriety checkpoint.
Beverly Hills DUI Checkpoint Attorney Michael Kraut is highly skilled at defending DUI charges arising from Beverly Hills DUI checkpoints. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Mr. Kraut is highly respected by law enforcement and prosecutors and possesses a unique skillset that allows him to provide his clients with the best representation possible. Mr. Kraut has taught law enforcement criminal law and procedure in the area of DUI checkpoints and has unique knowledge in this area of the law.
For more information about Beverly Hills DUI Checkpoints, and to schedule your free consultation, contactBeverly Hills DUI Checkpoint Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, #660B, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3220. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 310-550-6935.