Ten states in the U.S. have ruled that DUI checkpoints are illegal because these law enforcement tools violate their state constitutions or other state laws. Ohio is not one of these states. In fact, although Ohio law does generally require law enforcement agencies to publicize the date and location of where a DUI checkpoint will be set up, a landmark Ohio case explicitly rejected the idea that this notice must contain “all the specifics of the checkpoint locations and duration.”
DUI checkpoints are subject to legal limitations. The United States Supreme Court considers a checkpoint to be an active “seizure” as considered by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As a result, law enforcement officers are required to abide by all the protections that the Fourth Amendment affords. While states are permitted to impose stricter requirements for law enforcement than the Fourth Amendment mandates, Ohio has not opted to impose stricter requirements on law enforcement officers than those outlined in the U.S. Constitution. A checkpoint is considered reasonable and lawful if the government’s interest in curtailing impaired driving outweighs the inconvenience and invasion of privacy that DUI checkpoints inspire.
Ohio DUI Checkpoints Attorney
DUI convictions are not only costly, but they can also result in a permanent conviction on your record. Unfortunately, your driver’s license can also be suspended. If you are facing charges from a DUI checkpoint, you can hire a qualified attorney to defend against the prosecution. Our attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm have years of experience providing trustworthy advice and legal representation to people accused and arrested of drunk and drugged driving offenses.
Joslyn Law Firm accepts DUI cases in Columbus, OH including the nearby cities of Delaware, Powell, Dublin, Westerville, Upper Arlington, Gahanna, Worthington, West Jefferson, Hanover, Lancaster, Pickerington, Circleville and Ashville, among others. Call (614) 444-1900 to schedule a free consultation today.
- How DUI Checkpoints Operate
- What To Do If Stopped At A Checkpoint
- Implied Consent Considerations
- Additional Resources
DUI checkpoints are legal in Ohio. Most of the time, they are erected on weekends and on holidays, usually after the sun goes down. This timing reflects that although many people do drink during the day, the majority of DUI accidents occur at night. When a DUI checkpoint is set up, law enforcement generally forces traffic to funnel down to one lane on a single roadway. Most of the time, these checkpoints are set up at places where it is impossible to either turn around or take an alternate route down a side street, exit, etc.
When stopping motorists at a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers will generally stand on either side of the checkpoint. Each motorist stopped will be asked questions so that the officers assigned to the checkpoint can ascertain whether they have probable cause to believe that the motorist they have stopped is either intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by another controlled substance. DUI stands for driving under the influence, which encompasses impairment by alcohol and impairment by other substances as well.
If an officer suspects that a motorist is intoxicated or impaired, they will likely tell the motorist to pull over away from the lane of traffic behind them so that they can be more thoroughly questioned by another officer.
If someone finds themself stopped at a DUI checkpoint, they should remain calm. Even if they have alcohol or other substances in their system, they will only raise suspicion and may be subjected to negative consequences if they act in ways that reveal panic. Instead, they should calmly take out their driver’s license, registration, and insurance information, so that it is available if and when an officer asks for it. It is ideal to get these documents ready before an officer approaches the vehicle. After all, the stopped person does not want an officer to think that they are reaching for a weapon or doing something else that is suspicious. Still, the person is not required to volunteer any information that may incriminate them or rouse suspicion.
If a law enforcement officer insists on a breath or blood test, it is inadvisable to refuse to do so. Ohio state law presumes that motorists have given implied consent for breath and blood testing at the request of law enforcement. Therefore, refusal to submit to such testing will result in negative consequences automatically. If someone refuses requested testing at a DUI checkpoint, they will immediately lose their driver’s license. Although this suspension can be appealed, if the suspension is upheld, the person will not be able to drive for one year. A better strategy may be to submit to requested testing, as a defense lawyer will do what they can to get any positive test results excluded as evidence from trial.
Miranda Rights: A Guide to the Basics – This site clearly explains the Miranda rights granted to all Americans in plain language. Anyone who is unfamiliar with what Miranda rights are should read this brief explanation before they spend a night out on the town.
Field Sobriety Tests: A Guide to the Basics – This resource explains what a field sobriety test is and how all commonly utilized standard and non-standardized field sobriety tests operate. All motorists should be familiar with what tests they must submit to and what tests they can decline when being questioned during a DUI or DWI stop or when stopped at a DUI checkpoint.
Ohio DUI Checkpoints Lawyer | Joslyn Law Firm
After a stop at a DUI checkpoint in Columbus, Ohio or the surrounding areas, contact Joslyn Law Firm to discuss the case. Our DUI defense attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm litigate motions to suppress evidence obtained during an illegal or unconstitutional DUI roadblock. We are prepared to craft a strong defense on your behalf to protect your rights, freedom, and driving privileges.
Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 to retain a free consultation today about your DUI offense in Franklin County and the surrounding areas of Ohio. Our legal team is ready to serve you and discuss all of your legal options.