OUI Lawyer in Quincy
Charges Resulting from OUI Roadblocks
When law enforcement agencies conduct OUI roadblocks, or sobriety checkpoints, they stop vehicles passing through a particular location in order to check for drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. These types of stops can lead to arrests and convictions of drivers for OUI offenses, which are offenses for operating a vehicle while under the influences of drugs and alcohol. Oftentimes, they are conducted during holiday weekends, regular weekends and during late-night or early-morning hours.
If a driver is stopped in a sobriety check, he or she might be asked to perform a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer test, which measures the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts regularly conduct OUI roadblocks.
While the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizure without warrants that are based on probable cause, OUI roadblocks have been recognized as an exception to this rule. That is because these checkpoints are considered to be minimal intrusions on individuals' privacy and because such checkpoints are considered greatly needed for the good of society. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the practice of conducting such checkpoints in the case of Michigan State Police v. Sitz – 496 U.S. 444 (1990).
Even if such stops are legal, however, that does not mean they are always efficient in proving an individual's intoxication while driving. In fact, they can sometimes be supported by weaker evidence than regular OUI stops because of the nature of how these types of stops are performed. With the help of a skilled Quincy OUI defense attorney you might be able to show that the evidence against you is not strong enough to prove you are guilty of the crime. Don't hesitate to contact my OUI defense law firm, Flanagan & Associates, so I can work with you to toward getting your charges dismissed or reduced.
OUI Roadblocks Can Lead to Weaker Evidence
There are many defenses a person suspected with OUI might be able to use if he or she was stopped at a checkpoint. One is calling into question the actual process of the checkpoint. Arrests from these types of stops can lack strong evidence that the driver was actually impaired. This is because the driver is stopped on a greater basis of procedure as opposed to only the basis that the driver was showing signs of intoxication, such as swerving in and out of lanes or driving at very slow speeds. Law enforcement agencies often use systematic formulas or tactics for deciding which vehicles they will stop.
Even if there are tests results that show a driver had drugs or alcohol in his or her system at the time of the stop, you might still be able to avoid a conviction. At my OUI defense law firm, Flanagan & Associates we know how to challenge the validity of test results, such as those for Breathalyzer tests, blood tests and field sobriety tests. These tests can often be subject to human or mechanical error, which can raise the question of whether there is enough evidence to fairly convict a defendant.
Protecting Your Rights in Hingham, MA
If you are stopped in an OUI roadblock, you are entitled to certain rights. You can legally choose to refuse a field sobriety test, which requires the person to step out of the car and perform a series of actions that are supposed to reflect the driver's balance and coordination. While you can also refuse a
breath or blood test, the state of Massachusetts has strict laws that impose severe sanctions for doing so, such as lengthy driver's license suspensions and the impoundment of your car. Law enforcement agencies are also legally required to publish public notices of checkpoints before they occur.
I, Dave Flanagan, am a Quincy OUI attorney who is dedicated to protecting the rights of my clients who are accused of driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. You will need a professional who is able to recognize the weaknesses of the prosecution and advocate on your behalf.
Contact my firm for more information about how you can proceed with your case.