According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, sobriety checkpoints are legal in the state of New York, and police have the right to conduct them on a weekly basis. When police establish such checkpoints, they must follow specific guidelines because the Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. New York police can conduct sobriety checkpoints if:
- The purpose of the checkpoint has been published in clear language in advance;
- The checkpoint does not intrude on motorists’ privacy;
- The checkpoint has adequate lighting and follows roadside safety precautions;
- Police only hold motorists at the checkpoint for a reasonable amount of time;
- Police use a random and predetermined formula for stopping cars; and
- Supervisors are present to make pertinent decisions as needed.
If police arrested you at a sobriety checkpoint that did not meet these criteria, contact Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Mr. Deurso is a DWI lawyer in White Plains who will develop a comprehensive defense based on the unique facts of your case.
Call 914-772-8614 today to schedule a consultation. You can also visit the USAttorneys website to learn more about DWI defense in New York.
Using the Roadblock Registry to Learn about DWI Checkpoints
Sobriety checkpoints are temporary roadblocks in random locations that serve as a means for police to identify drunk drivers. Although police may conduct them on a weekly basis in New York, you can expect them to establish additional or expanded roadblocks during the holidays, when more people are on the roads and drunk-driving rates spike.
Motorists have the right to know where roadblocks are. You can browse The Roadblock Registry to see if there are any on your route.
At some sobriety checkpoints, police will stop every car that passes through; at others, they may stop every other car or every fifth car, depending on the predetermined formula that they devised.
If police stop you at a sobriety checkpoint, they will ask you to roll down your window and hand over your driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration. They may also ask where you are coming from and where you are going. When police listen to your answers, they will be looking for signs of intoxication, including the smell of alcohol on your breath, a flushed face, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
If police believe you have been drinking, they may then administer a breathalyzer test or ask you to pull over so they can conduct a field sobriety test. You may be tempted to refuse since the police did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place, but doing so has severe consequences.
According to Business Insider, the state of New York has an implied consent law, and the penalties for refusing a breath test include a potential one-year license suspension; however, motorists who submit to the test and fail will also face severe consequences.
If you are facing DWI charges in New York, turn to Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law. Mr. DeUrso will assess your situation, gather evidence and aggressively represent your interests. To schedule an initial consultation with a White Plains DWI lawyer, call 914-772-8614.