Sobriety Checkpoints In Missouri Attorney
The injustice of a police checkpoint stopping hundreds of cars in traffic at random can make your blood boil. Don’t let it; remain calm and remember what you learn from this website.
In the back of your mind you are probably saying, “There’s something wrong here. Isn’t there something called the Constitution that protects me from unreasonable searches like this?” The Supreme Court has actually taken up this question and held that as long as sobriety checkpoints are done in a prescribed fashion, they are not unreasonable under the circumstances.
About Missouri DWI Checkpoints
At this writing, at least 10 states have forbidden their police from using sobriety checkpoints, even though they are not illegal under federal law. States like Missouri allow them partly due to public outrage over damage and deaths caused by truly drunken driving. But police may be overzealous in arresting people with even the slightest sign of having consumed any alcohol at all.
Officers may report that you exhibited these signs whether you did or not:
- Slurred speech
- Flushed red face
- Bloodshot eyes
- Odor of alcohol
- Unsteady balance
Be polite, but say as little as possible. Whether or not you refuse testing, and even if you test below the legal limit, you can be arrested on the basis of the officer’s testimony.
Don’t Think That Your Case Is Lost
Police in Missouri began using sobriety checkpoints with the purpose of removing the element of police officer subjectivity when making stops. While a sobriety checkpoint may serve that purpose, other police mistakes could result in a dismissal of the charge, reduction to a nonalcohol driving offense or a not guilty verdict.
For an arrest made at a DWI checkpoint to hold up in court, the police must follow proper procedures when setting up the checkpoint, including the creation of a detailed plan and supervision by a senior officer. When they stop someone, they must also have probable cause to believe that someone has been drinking, through initial observations, field sobriety tests, statements by the driver or other reasons.
Police make errors during these and subsequent procedures, such as failing to advise the driver of his or her rights. When defending you, attorney Travis Noble will carefully examine all aspects of your case, looking for police mistakes that could result in a positive outcome.
Contact A St. Louis DWI Field Sobriety Defense Attorney
Contact attorney Travis Noble Jr. He was a police officer from 1985 to 1990 and a narcotics agent from 1990 until 1995. He lectures at seminars nationwide on the topic of DWI cases, is a graduate of the National College of DUI Defense at Harvard University and has won the Charles Shaw Outstanding Trial Advocacy Award from the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending cases resulting from some of the toughest sobriety checkpoints in Missouri. Email us or call our law firm at 314-450-7849 or 866-794-0947.