As with any other holiday, you can expect an increased presence from police on Super Bowl Sunday. That means extra roving patrols and DUI checkpoints.
While many of us will be out and about enjoying time with our family and friends, police will be out in full force stopping us at DUI roadblocks with no articuable and individualized probable cause. Many states have found such roadblocks to be per se unreasonable. These “checkpoints” are becoming more and more intrusive and we have all seen the videos of some police who cross the line and abuse the tenuous grant of authority.
We know that these “checkpoints” are not efficient. They are not statistically justified. And roving patrols use least resources with more effectiveness with a better chance of getting at the true danger: impaired driving.
In our opinion and the opinion held by many, these “checkpoints” are based upon faulty interpretation of the 4th Amendment and Article I Section 8 of the Declaration of Rights (Pennsylvania State Constitution). In essence, the courts have justified that a compelling state reasons exist in insuring safe roads by the use of these totally inefficient “checkpoints.” To try to give some sort of veneer of adherence to a water-downed version of the 4th Amendment, the Courts have placed some restrictions and guidelines that police have to follow in order for them to be allowed.
The majority of arrests and charges from these checkpoints have nothing to do with drunk driving. As the statistics reveal, it is about money. Most are non-moving violations, license issues, or warrants. The simple fact is there is a whole lot of money in DUI checkpoints. Police departments and PennDOT and county DUI task forces get federal and state grants to set up these checkpoints. We have fallen far astray from what was perhaps the initial noble cause: get impaired drivers off the road.
As always, we encourage you to make responsible decisions. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, it helps to know your rights.
The McShane Firm is available 24 hours a day to answer your legal questions. Call 1-866-MCSHANE now.