What to Expect at a Roadblock

Posted by Moe Ahmad | Jan 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Roadblocks, also known as sobriety checkpoints, are designed to randomly interrogate suspected law violators who may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects motorists from unreasonable searches, roadblocks are an exception to the rule. That said, not all roadblocks are legal. Law enforcement officers must meet certain requirements or any arrests they make might not hold up in court.

When is a Roadblock Legal?

There are several requirements law enforcement officers must meet when setting up a legal roadblock.

Below is a list of these vital requirements:

  • The reasons for stopping motorists must be neutral and random
  • The location of the checkpoint must be reasonable
  • The time and length of the checkpoint must show good judgment
  • The roadblock was advertised in advance
  • Supervising officers must be in charge of making operational decisions
  • Officers should only detain motorists for a minimal amount of time

If the checkpoint does not meet these requirements, you can potentially fight to have these charges thrown out.

What Happens?

If an officer asks you to stop your vehicle, you must comply with this request. The officer will also ask that you roll down your window and provide your proof of registration and registration as well as your driver's license. While you are speaking, the officers will also run a background check for warrants.

As you answer the officer's questions, he or she will closely observe you, checking for signs of intoxication. Some signs of intoxication include:

  • The scent of alcohol on your breath
  • A flushed face
  • Lack of coordination
  • Red eyes
  • Slurred words

If you show signs of impairment, the officer will likely ask you to step outside of your vehicle to perform a series of field sobriety tests:

  • Stand on one leg test
  • Nystagmus test
  • Finger to nose test
  • Counting or reciting the alphabet
  • Walk and turn test

If the law enforcement officer determines that you failed these tests, he or she will likely arrest you. You might have to take a breathalyzer test while at the roadblock or, if it is unavailable, you will take one at the precinct. Under implied consent laws, you cannot refuse a breathalyzer test. Doing so will result in a license suspension and possible jail time.

If you were arrested for a DUI at a roadblock, seek the skilled legal guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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If you are facing DUI charges, you should not put off obtaining representation from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. At Ahmad Law Firm, our criminal defense team has the experience and knowledge necessary to aggressively fight on your behalf. The consequences of a DUI conviction can affect your life for years to come, so act now to give yourself the best possible chance of defeating these charges.

It is never too soon to defend yourself. Contact our criminal defense team today at (847) 791-2294 to set up a free initial case review with one of our experienced attorneys.

About the Author

Moe Ahmad

Attorney Mohammad (Moe) Ahmad received his Juris Doctor Degree from Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School. As a skilled trial lawyer and former prosecutor of the...


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