Your Rights at DUI Sobriety Checkpoints

A recent news release by the Martinez Police Department confirms that the Department will increase enforcement action, including the number of sobriety checkpoints over the next few months. The enforcement action comes as part of a special grant that has been given to the Martinez Police Department by the California Office of Traffic Safety. The money will be used to conduct more numbers of checkpoints, and also recruit special officers who will be used to conduct DUI tests, and evaluate driver intoxication levels.

Such DUI sobriety checkpoints are not only conducted fairly regularly across California, but are also a very frequent part of holiday travel for Californians. The number of checkpoints increases during holidays, and are also likely to increase over the Thanksgiving weekend, and going into the Christmas and New Year's holidays too.

Unlike other times when police officers pull you over, there is no need for an officer to have probable cause when he stops you at a sobriety checkpoint. In normal cases, a police officer must have probable cause, or must suspect that you're driving under the influence of alcohol before he pulls you over to administer a test. However, at a sobriety checkpoint, officers have the right to pull anybody over, and administer a breath test or a sobriety test.

However, this doesn't mean that if you have failed a breath test or a sobriety test at a checkpoint, all your rights have been compromised. There are procedures and guidelines that all officers at a checkpoint must follow, for a DUI test to be held valid. Besides, the checkpoint must be neutrally conducted, must follow all safety precautions, and must be held in good judgment, for it to be held valid.