To try to combat against individuals driving under the influence, law enforcement may set up Charleston DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoints are mandatory traffic stops across a certain road that allows officers to check suspected drunk drivers for signs of intoxication.
DUI checkpoints in Charleston may occur anywhere, with the exception of the interstate or multi-lane highways. Law enforcement is required to announce the time and location of checkpoints in advance. Usually, checkpoints occur on secondary roads where there is minimal impact on the public’s right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion. For more information about checkpoints and your rights during one, contact an experienced DUI lawyer.
Legal Requirements of a DUI Checkpoint
Certain requirements must be met regarding checkpoints and the establishment or enforcement of those checkpoints according to the United States Supreme Court precedent. Law enforcement must show that the checkpoints are being implemented for a valid reason. Also, the checkpoints must have supervisory approval and serve the public’s interest. Last, checkpoints must be brief, not overly burdensome, and set up in a way that promotes public safety.
When the law enforcement agency responsible for the checkpoint does not provide ample assurance that the requirements of a checkpoint were followed, that failure could be grounds for dismissal. For more information, consult with a dedicated lawyer.
Common Locations of DUI Checkpoints in Charleston
Sometimes, Charleston DUI checkpoints are set up near bars or restaurants that serve alcohol. Most often, they are located in areas with heavy traffic. The location of the checkpoint is usually not the only route by which a person can travel from Point A to Point B. It is usually in a location where citizens could avoid the checkpoint so that they are not required or forced to go through it.
Unfortunately, the general public does not always receive notice of the locations of checkpoints. Sometimes, they drive up on a checkpoint without having received the notice that law enforcement is required to send out.
What is the Reason Behind DUI Checkpoints?
Driving under the influence is a public safety hazard that could affect anyone at any given time and location. It is not surprising that law enforcement in Charleston is proactive in their enforcement of DUI laws.
Drivers accused of DUI are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Because DUI enforcement is so subjective, South Carolina DUI laws require law enforcement to produce and preserve more evidence than in other areas of the law. As a result, DUI checkpoints allow police officers to collect significant evidence and focus specifically on enforcing drunk driving laws.
Benefits of Working With a DUI Lawyer
A DUI lawyer knows that arrests resulting from a traffic stop at a checkpoint require additional analysis and investigation to ensure that one’s rights under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution are protected. An attorney could help a defendant by efficiently and effectively using their time and resources to focus on the evidence law enforcement is required to produce to justify prosecution.
An experienced local lawyer in Charleston may also have established relationships with prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and judges that provide a valuable perspective on the appropriate approach and theory of defense that is most beneficial to the defendant. Call today to learn more about Charleston DUI checkpoints and how a legal professional could help you fight against charges.