The police have the right to set up checkpoints and stop you but you also have rights in this situation. The law requires police to substantially comply with the legal guidelines of a checkpoint in accordance with Pennsylvania law.
You should be aware of your constitutional rights at a DUI checkpoint. First, police must visibly warn drivers in advance that they are approaching a checkpoint. If you are able to turn down another street before the roadblock you can do so as long as you can do it legally.
Second, the police must have a consistent means they use to stop vehicles at the time they set-up the checkpoint. For example, the police can stop every third vehicle or every other vehicle. The police cannot randomly stop vehicles.
Additionally, the police must also have reasonable suspicion that a driver has been drinking to administer a breathalyzer or breath test. They can ask you a few questions to confirm whether you smell like you have been drinking or to verify you have slurred speech and/or appear to be intoxicated. However, the police must only stop you for a brief period of time and make the interaction with you quickly so that it does not become an unreasonable seizure.
Finally, police cannot automatically conduct a physical search of your vehicle. Police can only search your car without a warrant if they have probable cause of a crime being committed at the time of the stop.
If you or a loved one believe your rights have been violated by the police at the time they stop you for a DUI, contact Gummo Law Office to discuss your options and strategies for your case.