Last Saturday night Beverly, Massachusetts police pulled over twenty seven cars through the authority of a sobriety checkpoint. Ultimately twelve people were arrested and charged with OUI. The roadblock operated from eleven Saturday night to three in the morning. All have been charged with OUI. Their cases are pending in the Salem District Court.
So what exactly is a sobriety checkpoint? Sobriety checkpoints are temporary roadblocks designed and used by law enforcement to catch people who are operating under the influence of alcohol. Officers stop a specific number of vehicles at these checkpoints to see if drivers are impaired. There are certain constitutional restrictions on the use and implementation of sobriety checkpoints. If these regulations are violated or altered the result could be a dismissal of your OUI case. The United States Supreme Court has held that sobriety checkpoints do not violate the Fourth Amendment because of the public interest in keeping drunk drivers off the roads. Massachusetts Courts agree with this general proposition. In Massachusetts the Secretary of Public Safety promulgates guidelines that dictate how the checkpoints must be conducted. Assuming these meet with constitutional muster the police must adhere to the guidelines when engaging in a sobriety checkpoint operation. Many OUI cases in Massachusetts are won by the defense when it is shown that these procedures were not properly applied.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman has challenged the legality of sobriety checkpoints in Massachusetts. We have won those challenges and obtained dismissals for our clients. If you have been charged with DUI in Massachusetts call us at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.