Alabama DUI Security checkpoints and Roadblocks
Police departments in most states of the United States require DUI security checkpoints and roadblocks to be set up in different regions of the state. These are temporary setups that you might come across mostly during the night time but sometimes during the day time as well. The primary purpose of these DUI roadblocks is to catch possible DUI suspects who are perceived to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
As in most states, Alabama is also required to have these roadblocks set up during certain times of the day and throughout the year, under the Federal Constitution. For some part, it is completely up to the regulations of the police department where or when they set up these DUI security checkpoints. They are usually required to set them up in areas where there is a higher probability of drunk drivers passing by at that time and that usually takes place in the night time after 12AM.
A number of people who have to go through DUI security checkpoints ask why these are set up and are they not against the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which protects all citizens against unwarranted searches and seizures. At one point in time, this issue was under consideration by the Supreme Court of US but they concluded that properly conducted DUI security checkpoints are not a threat to anyone and are in fact, necessary for the safety of people on the roads.
Many DUI attorneys refer to this exception as the ‘DUI exception to the Constitution’ and while many people hold various beliefs, a number of judges believe that stopping majority of cars on the road is justified on the basis that it helps to reduce and prevent the number of drunk drivers on the road and hence, increase the overall benefit of the community. The same justification holds for the state of Alabama due to which DUI security checkpoints and roadblocks are mandatory.
Usually police officers may stop cars randomly or they may be stopping cars based on a certain pattern; they also tend to have ways to determine the behavior of the driver and decide whether or not they should be stopped and investigated. However, the US Supreme Court only authorizes those roadblocks that are properly conducted which means that they are conducted based on certain regulations and guidelines. It is very important for all police departments to follow those guidelines and make the DUI security checkpoints the least possible trouble and hassle for drivers and at the same time, be vigilant and efficient enough to target and further investigate drivers that appear to be under the influence.
Although the US Supreme Court left it up to each of the states of the country as to how and where they should be setting up the DUI security check points, still, police officers cannot set up roadblocks whenever and wherever they wish and conduct them according to their own free will. The states that mandate DUI security checkpoints including that of Alabama are required to follow rules and regulations set by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). It is highly recommended that if you have been through a DUI security checkpoint before or you wish to be fully prepared for it, you should know what the NHTSA regulations are. This is also important for a driver who has been stopped and is being investigated on suspicions of drunk driving. You should be fully aware of what happens at a DUI security checkpoint in Alabama. Usually they will be asking random drivers to stop and once they do, they ask them questions about themselves, at the same time looking for signs of impairment.
If you believe that you or your vehicle have been unjustly searched at a DUI security checkpoint or roadblock in Alabama or you have been charged with DUI in Alabama, then you need to get in touch with an experienced and reliable Alabama DUI attorney.