Raleigh DUI Defense | Understanding How Checkpoints Operate

So, today’s Raleigh DWI Attorney Blog will discuss some aspects of the checkpoint and in what ways can they be challenged. Many people understand that, unfortunately, the Police have the ability to set up checkpoints. What many do not realize is the limited scope for which they can setup the checkpoint. As a Raleigh DUI Lawyer and Raleigh Traffic Lawyer, I have explored the various aspects of a check point and in what ways they can be challenged. This article will hopefully shed some light on this practice of law enforcement. First, in North Carolina certain case law has outlined the requirements of what constitutes a permissible North Carolina DWI Checkpoint. Under N.C. v. Rose, the courts found the Police in that particular case had improperly set up the checkpoint and therefore sent the case back to the lower courts to rule in accordance to their finding. Specifically, the court held that the Police did not set up the checkpoint for a specific reason, but rather set up it for ‘general crime prevention.’ This was in accordance with City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, where the U.S. Supreme Court held that for checkpoints to be Constitutional, the State must prove the primary purpose of the checkpoint was not for general crime prevention. From there, if the court finds the State proved the primary purpose of the DUI checkpoint was not for general crime prevention, then the court must determine the reasonableness of the checkpoint by applying the ‘Lidster Analysis’ which examines 1. The seriousness of the public concerns attended to by the seizure, 2. The degree to which the seizure assisted the public interest and 3. the gravity of the interference with individual liberty. The Police will normally set out a ‘plan’ which will outline the reason for the checkpoint and the means by which they conduct the checkpoint. In this plan, which must be authorized by some type of supervisor, there must be a set parameter by which the vehicles are stopped to ensure that no individuals are ‘targeted.’ Additionally, no one Police Officer may have authority to control or dictate the process by which the stops occur during the checkpoint. These restrictions are meant to ensure that the scope of these type of stops are very limited and very controlled. Remember, in America, we enjoy the right to Unlawful Search and Seizure, which normally requires a finding of Reasonable Suspicion to validate the temporary seizure. These checkpoints are a limited exception to this rule and therefore are strictly construed to very specific purposes. If you have received a North Carolina DUI Charge as a result of a Raleigh DUI Checkpoint or checkpoint anywhere else here in North Carolina, speak with a local DWI Attorney about your case. Disclaimer – Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.

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