Vehicle Checkpoint in New York

Published on 10/4/2018

From time to time, a motorist driving in New York will encounter a vehicle checkpoint. The ostensible purpose of checkpoints is to root out drunk driving. These checkpoints are tactically chosen to bottleneck drivers. They also allow officers to stop and observe many more vehicles than they would ordinarily be able to. Checkpoints are nerve wracking for drivers, even if they are sober and their license is in good standing.

Checkpoints are also somewhat stressful for officers (besides for the inherent dangers). There are legal standards for all checkpoints in New York- if an officer does not have the right to set up a sobriety checkpoint, or if it was set up improperly, the results from that checkpoint can be successfully challenged in court. For example, car stops in checkpoints must follow a predetermined pattern. Officers must either stop every car, or a specific sequence of cars. There are a myriad of cases that have previously outlined these standards and whether or not they can be altered in the middle of the checkpoint. The location of the stop, time of the stop and the conditions for the flow of traffic can also be scrutinized.

Most charges that result from checkpoints are minor traffic violations. Typical charges include expired registration, expired inspection, suspended registration, and seat belt violations. If you have been charged with a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint it is crucial to know your rights and options. A seasoned attorney will know how to evaluate the circumstances of your stop and compare them with the acceptable standards. If there is any opportunity to reduce the charges or get the case dismissed, an attorney will also know which arguments to make to accomplish this.

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