DUI checkpoints in Alabama will increase from mid-August through Labor Day. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is intended to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, but will ultimately result in an increased number of DUIs issued in Birmingham and statewide.
Individuals who are stopped at a checkpoint should be aware of their rights. While checkpoints are legal, law enforcement offers must follow specific procedures to ensure compliance with the law. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys will review any DUI case involving a checkpoint to determine whether officers were following regulatory standards.
According to reports, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign rolled out this month. Through the remainder of August and into early September, law enforcement officials will be increasing efforts to pull over, arrest, and criminally charge alleged drunk drivers. The North Alabama Highway Office reports more than 10,000 people die every year in drunk driving accidents. The campaign is part of an effort to reduce drunk driving accidents. While authorities have good intentions to prevent drunk driving accidents, civil liberties and rights are also important in the process.
Drunk driving checkpoints have been a point of contention at the state level and challenges to the constitutionality of checkpoints have even gone to the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court ruled that despite their intrusion on civil liberties, DUI checkpoints are not in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unlawful search and seizure. According to the court, the risk of drunk driving is so high that the roadblocks are a necessary means of protection for other motorists. The court ultimately left it for individual states to decide whether officers can use checkpoints to catch suspected drunk drivers. Since this ruling, 39 states continue to allow them.
The Alabama “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign means that law enforcement officers in Birmingham and throughout the state will be increasing the number of checkpoints and roving patrols to catch suspected drunk drivers. Law enforcement officials have been given additional grant money to invest in portable intoxicator devices, or breathalyzers, to quickly determine whether a driver his under the influence. As with field sobriety tests, the results can be challenged in court. A defense attorney can review the evidence to ensure that a test was properly administered and that equipment was properly calibrated.
While it is important to keep roadways safe, individual drivers also have civil liberties that must be upheld. In the event that your rights were violated during an arrest, an experienced attorney can seek to suppress unlawfully obtained evidence. When facing drunk driving charges, it is important that an experienced advocate help you navigate the process to minimize charges and penalties in your case. A drunk driving conviction in Alabama could result in damaging penalties, including fines, loss of license, and jail time.