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I Was Stopped and Arrested in a DUI Roadblock, What Can I Do?
While it is frustrating and embarrassing to be arrested in a DUI roadblock, or "sobriety checkpoint", as they call them, the good news is that, generally these cases can be easier to win in court that typical OUI stops.
Just the fact that you were stopped at a road block raises some constitutional issues, and you can just challenge the validity of the check point. They have to follow certain very specific legal guidelines and prove that the road block is valid in the first place. Secondly, even if the road block is valid, the police have to prove that you were waved into the secondary area in accordance with the rules.
Our firm had a case in the Framingham District Court where we challenged the validity of the stop, saying that they didnít have probable cause to wave the client into the second area. That case ended up being dismissed. We also had a similar case in the Brighton District Court, and that cased ended up being dismissed as well.
In a road block case, the Commonwealth starts by admitting that there was absolutely nothing wrong with your driving! They didn't stop you because you were weaving or driving erratically, missed a stop sign or committed any other traffic infractions, or were in an accident. It was a random stop.
photo credit: versageek
Before they pulled you over, they had absolutely no evidence or reason to believe that you were impaired. So that fact can make these charges easier to fight and win.
I also think that juryís may be sympathetic to people who are pulled over at a road block because they have done nothing wrong. Aybody can be driving down the street and have had 1 or 2 drinks and can be pulled over. Many officers will arrest anyone with a slight amount of alcohol on their breath and jurors certainly donít want to be in that position.
There is an open question as to whether these road block cases are an effective way to deal with drunk driving at all. Is this really the best use of police resources to benefit public safety?
Many experts think that roaming patrols are more effective at stopping drunk drivers. Officers who are stopping everybody in a particular spot are not out on the road looking for truly dangerous or hazardous drivers. These catchall checkpoints are more likely to stop people who made an innocent mistake, and weren't doing any harm.
Call me now for a free consultation on your Massachusetts OUI case, in any MA district court.
Attorney Russell Matson
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44 Adams St, Suite 5