DUI Checkpoints Mean Trouble for Drivers

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California police are increasingly using DUI checkpoints to check and ticket motorists en masse. DUI lawyer James Knox says that the roadblocks, while legal, can mean trouble for sober as well as drunk drivers.

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Perfectly safe drivers get tickets because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Police stopped 404 vehicles in one night last week and made at least 10 arrests or citations at what was ostensibly a DUI checkpoint. While the checkpoints are designed to catch drunk drivers in the act, DUI defense lawyer James Knox says that sober drivers often get in trouble too.

The checkpoint lasted for five hours Friday night and issued citations for driving without a license or with a suspended license, as well as two DUI arrests. A checkpoint earlier in the week issued 20 citations for violations including failure to wear a seat belt and making incomplete stops according to the Redlands Patch (7.22.13).

“These checkpoints are spun as public safety measures but they use a baby-with-bathwater mentality,” said Knox, a partner at Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP. “Perfectly safe drivers get tickets because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Knox says the checkpoints are legal, but have to be operated in a very specific manner to avoid infringing on constitutional rights.

“The officers cannot be invasive, and they have to operate according to very precise guidelines,” Knox said. “I've worked on many cases where those rules weren't followed. That means a good lawyer can get the charges thrown out.”

When drivers find themselves approaching a checkpoint, Knox says they should slow down, make sure they're wearing their seat belt, and cooperate – but pay attention to how the officers conduct the check.

“Make notes afterward, especially of aggressive or intrusive behavior,” he said. “If you're issued a ticket of any kind, talk to a lawyer.”

About James Knox:

James Lawrence Knox is a founder of San Bernardino DUI law firm Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox. MBLK offers one of the best legal teams in California and has assisted victims of accidents of all kinds, with a high rate of success. They can be contacted at:

Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox LLP
323 W. Court Street
Suite 402
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 889-1178

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