DUI Checkpoints in Los Angeles

January 13, 2016

DUI CheckpointsDUI Checkpoints in Los Angeles are becoming very common in the city of Los Angeles. Police departments outside of Los Angeles also use DUI checkpoint to arrest drivers suspected of DUI. Los Angeles DUI Attorney is very experienced in fighting DUI checkpoint cases because police have to follow many rules to have a legal DUI checkpoint. Without following court guidelines regarding  DUI checkpoint set up, all arrests at Los Angles DUI Checkpoints  can be illegal.

There are several ways how Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you fight arrest at DUI Checkpoints. First, unless the police set up the DUI Checkpoints as told by the California courts, the checkpoint will be invalid. Second, because no bad driving observed at a checkpoint, it is easier to argue that the arrested DUI driver was not impaired.

To fight DUI Checkpoints cases, DUI lawyer Los Angeles will first file a motion to suppress evidence of the DUI. A motion to suppress evidence is also known in California by its statutory name, a 1538.5 motion, because it is codified in California Penal Code section 1538.5. Often, DUI Checkpoints cases are easier to win because the police have to follow many rules to set up the checkpoint according to law and they do not follow all the rules. There are several distinct ways police can set up the checkpoint wrong and in violation of California state law. Los Angeles DUI attorney will help you determined if the DUI Checkpoints was not set up correctly and help you fight Los Angeles DUI arrest.

The law about the standards of setting up sobriety check-points comes from case of Ingersoll v. Palmer (1987) 43 Cal.3d 1321.

In that case the Supreme Court of California decided that 8 separate factors determine is DUI Checkpoints is set up correctly.

  1. Whether the decision to establish the checkpoint, the selection of the site, and the procedures for operation are established by supervisory law enforcement personnel;
  2. Whether motorists are stopped according to a neutral formula;
  3. Whether adequate safety precautions are taken, such as proper lighting, warning signs, and signals, and whether clearly identifiable official vehicles and personnel are used;
  4. Whether the location of the checkpoint was determined by a policymaking official, and was reasonable;
  5. Whether the time the checkpoint was conducted and its duration reflects good judgment on the part of law enforcement
  6. Whether the checkpoint exhibits sufficient indicia of its official nature
  7. Whether the average length and nature of detention is minimized
  8. Whether checkpoint is proceeded by publicity.

When police does not comply with the requirements of Ingersoll v. Palmer, the DUI Checkpoints can be invalid and Los Angeles Superior court can make the police dismiss their DUI case against you. For example, if police does not mark the checkpoint with clear signs or if the checkpoint is set up by a lower level officer, the checkpoint can be invalid. For example in People v. Alvarado, the court decided that the procedure to set up checkpoint did not come from a supervisory law enforcement personnel and suppressed the evidence of DUI, causing a dismissal. Also, Alvarado court decided that the police did not present sufficient evidence why the location of the checkpoint was chosen – there was no evidence that the intersection for the checkpoint had a higher number of alcohol related accidents. The DUI Checkpoints location in Alvarado case was chosen randomly, only the day was chosen specifically, but that was not a sufficient reason according to the Alvarado court.

It is important to point out that all the factors stated above must be established by the People at a hearing. Failure to establish one of the factors will be a basis to dismiss a DUI case. For instance, if the police forgets to testify how long were the drivers kept during the DUI Checkpoints, the government must dismiss that DUI case.

Many police agencies in Los Angeles county will violate Ingersoll rules by not providing sufficient notice of the DUI. The purpose of the DUI Checkpoints is to deter drivers from driving drunk – not to catch those who do. A notice of the DUI Checkpoints at an intersection where there were many DUI collisions in the past, will deter DUI drivers from going through that intersection, thus lowering chances of a DUI collision in the future. Notice requirement is critical. When police fails to state specifically where the checkpoint will be set up, your DUI case can be dismissed. Often, we read police use general statement “a DUI Checkpoints will be set up in the city of Downey”. This is not a specific enough description and a checkpoint like this should be invalidated.

Los Angeles DUI attorney is a premier firm specializing exclusively with DUI Los Angeles defense. We will fight your case at every turn, causing a possible dismissal or reduction of charges. To know if your DUI case can be dismissed because of DUI Checkpoints rules violation call Los Angeles DUI lawyer anytime. We are waiting for your call and hope we get the chance to help you. Our prices are competitive and we offer great payment plans.

Please call Los Angeles DUI lawyer (818) 921 7744 so we can show you how we can fight your Los Angeles DUI.

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