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Chicago DUI Checkpoints

Roadside sobriety checkpoints are designed to allow law enforcement official to randomly stop and question motorists and to look for any evidence they may be DUI. While the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld that such checkpoints are justified to protect public safety they also ruled that the motorists’ rights to privacy must be protected and left it up to each state to ensure that it is done. If you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and were arrested on DUI charges, you need to speak to a Chicago DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

The State of Illinois drunk driving laws start with the .08 percentage blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. Like all states across the U.S.A., Illinois prohibits driving with a .08 percent BAC or above. If you are under 21 years of age in the state of Illinois there is a “Zero” tolerance for alcohol and driving. The only exceptions are for individuals who consume alcohol as part of a religious ceremony or in prescribed medicine containing alcohol. Even with those exceptions, driving with a BAC of .08 is the limit.

Are checkpoints effective in curtailing DUI?

The numbers suggest that it is not. In general, most analysis of checkpoint data shows that approximately a 1% rate of arrest among all the drivers passing through a checkpoint. Further, when compared to other DUI arrests, the conviction rates for those arrested at a checkpoint tend to be lower. This is primarily due to the ability of an experienced DUI lawyer to attack the constitutionality of the checkpoint.

Are DUI checkpoints are allowed in all states?

No. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, 12 states do not permit sobriety checkpoints based on state statute or state interpretation of the Constitution. If you live in one of the 38 states other than those listed below or in the District of Columbia, you may experience a DUI checkpoint:

• Alaska
• Idaho
• Iowa
• Michigan
• Minnesota
• Montana
• Oregon
• Rhode Island
• Texas
• Washington
• Wisconsin
• Wyoming

What rights do I have if I am ordered to pull over in Illinois?

If the police have followed the letter of the law in conducting the checkpoint, they still must have reasonable suspicion of a DUI to actually stop of a driver. This could be based on any number of factors such as the method of driving, an odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath or bloodshot eyes.

Drivers at sobriety or DUI checkpoints may refuse to speak with law enforcement and elect to keep their windows rolled up. Additionally, they might choose to exercise their constitutional rights by presented officers with a “miranda rights” card. This includes the right to consult with a lawyer before answering any questions.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois and the United States have developed a no-tolerance policy toward the connection between drinking and driving. From state to state, penalties have become harsher and blood alcohol content minimums required for arrests have lowered considerably.


Do you need a DUI lawyer in Chicago?

It’s important that if you’ve experienced a DUI arrest in Chicago, you should hire a competent DUI attorney.