The DWI Checkpoint or Sobriety Checkpoint or Roadblock
In DWI cases in New York or Westchester County, Putnam County, Rockland
County, or Orange County the New York DWI laws and District Attorney policy's
have become very strict. This is likely in response to high profile DWI
cases in New York State particularly Westchester and Putnam Counties.
These high profile cases are for the most part the exception to the average
DWI case. Checkpoints or Roadblocks are part of both Felony DWI, Misdemeanor
DWI or DWAI arrests.
In order to maximize police resources police departments rely on large
sweeping patrols for DWI offenders such as the DWI Sobriety Checkpoints
or DWI Roadblocks. This is designed to obtain as many arrests as possible
without excess police patrols.
DWI defense in New York the best
DWI lawyers will aggressively attack the DWI checkpoint as that forms the basis for
the entire DWI arrest. Westchester, Orange and Putnam counties in particular
use DWI checkpoints to net large amount of arrests.
In attacking the checkpoint or DWI Roadblock it is important to understand
New York State DWI law as it pertains to the checkpoint. The leading case
is People v Scott, 63 NY2d 518.
In Scott the New York State Court of Appeals held that DWI checkpoints
or roadblocks must be established pursuant to a written directive of the
County Sheriff for the purpose of detecting and deterring driving while
intoxicated or while impaired. The police are prohibited from administrating
sobriety tests unless they observe listed criteria indicative of intoxication
which gives substantial cause to believe the operator is intoxicated.
DWI Roadblocks to be constitutional must meet the following criteria:
1. May not intrude to an impermissible degree upon the privacy of motorists
approaching the checkpoint.
2. Must be maintained in accordance with a uniform procedure which affords
little discretion to operating personal
3. Must utilize adequate precautions as to safety, lighting, and fair
warning of the existence of a checkpoint.
In the follow up DWI checkpoint or roadblock case of Scott the Court of
Appeals further held in the case of In re Muhammad F., 94 NY2d 136 that
limiting the discretion of officers in the field is of decisive significance
in determining whether a checkpoint type stop of a vehicle is Constitutional.
Every top DWI lawyer should have a firm understanding of the police department's
checkpoint because if the checkpoint is deemed Uncontitutional then the
entire arrest will be suppressed.
criminal defense in a DWI case or any other criminal matter always starts with the basis
for the arrest and in checkpoint or roadblock cases that is clearly defined.