Los Angeles DUI arrests are on the rise. While the economy is undergoing some serious setbacks, law enforcement is pursuing Southern California drunk drivers with fierce vigor. If you have been stopped and arrested for a DUI, then it is very important to immediately contact a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney. A pre-filing DUI attorney may be able to assist you in contacting law enforcement or the prosecution to tell you side of the story, prior to a case being filed against you.
Over the next few blog entries, the Los Angeles DUI process will be examined in detail. First is the DUI arrest
TRAFFIC STOP AND DUI CHECKPOINT
Usually, the entire DUI process in Los Angeles or Southern California begins when one of two events occurs. Either when a person is pulled over for a traffic violation or when a person enters a DUI checkpoint. By far, the most common beginning of the DUI process occurs when the officer pulls the suspect over for a traffic violation. The violation most often is either running a stop sign or light, weaving between lanes, speeding or allowing for a simple defect to the vehicle. At this time, the officer will state that he or she noticed what is called the objective symptoms of intoxication. These symptoms include slurred speech, watery eyes and the smell of alcohol on the suspect’s breath. If you are stopped by the police for a DUI in Los Angeles, please call attorney Michael Kraut for a free consultation.
In the last several years, police agencies have begun to use DUI checkpoints as another process to catch people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Like all new legal processes, DUI checkpoints have gone through many legal challenges and are strictly controlled. If the police do not adhere to the strict standards established by the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of California, then an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to attack the validity of the stop. If the stop is illegal, then all of the evidence is thrown out of court and the prosecution may not proceed with the case and charges will be dismissed.
The police may not do whatever they wish to pull over drivers to conduct DUI checks. The limitations on the police by the courts are very limiting to law enforcement. The procedures are set forth as follows:
1. The supervisors of the police must make the determination for when and where the checkpoint will be set up.
2. The police officers operating the DUI checkpoint must adhere to strict standards established. A clear policy must exist that directs officers in the field with exactly how and when to stop vehicles.
3. The Supreme Court states that there must be numerous safeguards in the checkpoint. There must be warning signs prior to entering the checkpoint, there must be proper lighting and there must be police vehicles that are clearly identifiable at the checkpoint.
4. The checkpoint must be located at a reasonable spot.
5. The time of the traffic stop must be limited, so as to not create traffic problems. Most checkpoints are late at night on side roads.
6. The warning signs at the checkpoint must be clear and create a visible indication of the proper authority that any stop is authorized.
7. The detention at the checkpoint, if any, must be limited in duration so that the length of the intrusion on the driver is minimal and the safety of the driver, as well as other motorists, is not jeopardized by traffic jams.
8. The courts have indicated that, while not a requirement, the checkpoints should be publicized in advance.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles or you are under investigation for driving under the influence in Southern California, please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.