Virginia police will periodically conduct sobriety checkpoints in an effort to reportedly crackdown on drunken driving. The procedure is simple: police will stop vehicles that are going through the checkpoint and look at the license for each driver. If a driver is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will then be directed to an off-roadway area where they may be subjected to a variety of tests.
Such a checkpoint was scheduled to be set-up in Arlington on Friday, March 7. We don’t yet know the number of arrests (if any) that occurred as a result of these efforts on the part of law enforcement officers.
Though no one supports or encourages drunk driving to occur, DUI arrests that can come about due to such checkpoints can be subject to mistake by arresting officers. In certain instances police may also abuse their discretion in arresting an individual by making the assumption that drunk driving did occur. The manner in which breath testing or field sobriety testing can be conducted by police officers at checkpoints may also be flawed.
Even the first arrest for suspected DUI can result in substantial penalties. A first-time DUI conviction in Virginia can result in a one-year prison term, a suspension of driving privileges and a $2,500 fine. Subsequent convictions can result in even more severe penalties. There can also be other consequences of a conviction such as loss of job and damage to one’s reputation.
It’s a good idea to contact an experienced DUI attorney in the event of an arrest. Though aggressive law enforcement measures may result in more DUI arrests, these arrests cannot be made at the cost of seeing innocent individuals convicted.
Source: ARL Now, “Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint Friday,” March 4, 2014