Police roadblocks and DWI checkpoints are taken as a given—particularly on big weekends and around the holidays. But the police are always required to follow certain rules when conducting the checkpoints. Otherwise, the stops are unconstitutional.
Decades ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that checkpoints “must be carried out pursuant to a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers,” because the Fourth Amendment seeks to assure that “an individual’s reasonable expectation of privacy is not subject to arbitrary invasions solely at the unfettered discretion of officers in the field.” In other words, police officers on the scene cannot have complete control over the way the checkpoint is operated.
In 2016, the Arkansas Supreme Court established two new factors to determine whether officers conducting checkpoints have too much control. First, “the decision to set up the roadblock in the first instance cannot have been made by the officer or officers actually establishing the checkpoint.” Second, “the officers on the scene cannot decide for themselves the procedures to be used in operating the roadblock.” If either rule is broken, the checkpoint stops are illegal.
The criminal defense attorneys at Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider, and Pawlik, PLLC, have decades of experience in DWI defense and always stay up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations. If you have been arrested, don’t go it alone. Call us today: 479-621-0006.
Keith, Miller, Butler, Schneider & Pawlik is your trusted team—when it counts.