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DWI Defendant Contends Roadblock was Illegal


A county sheriff established a roadblock with the purpose of screening drivers to identify persons driving under the influence of alcohol. At the aforementioned time and place, every car passing the roadblock location was stopped by the uniformed sheriff in order to make observations of the drivers to determine if they were driving while intoxicated.

Consequently, a New York DWI Lawyer said that one of the deputy sheriff stopped a vehicle. The uniformed sheriff stood in the middle of the road and signaled the driver to stop his vehicle. The man stopped his vehicle in a normal manner. The sheriff walked over to the driver’s side of the vehicle, and shined his light into the vehicle. The sheriff observed that the man’s eyes to be bloodshot. The man, without being asked, rolled down his window and spoke to the deputy sheriff who then noticed the odor of alcoholic beverages coming from the man’s breath.

As a result of the deputy’s observation of bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol upon the man’s breath, he asked the man to exit the car and come over to the side of the road for further investigation. All of the cars which passed the roadblock on that event were observed and the entire operators of all of the motor vehicles were asked with questions in the same manner as everyone else. After the man exited his car, the deputy sheriff observed the man’s speech to be slightly slurred, and again detected an odor of alcohol upon the man’s breath, and concluded that the man’s ability to drive a vehicle might be impaired.

The man was asked whether he had been drinking and responded yes. A New York DWI Lawyer said that when he asked what he was drinking, he responded that it was a beer. When he asked how much he was drinking, he responded seven beers at his working place and four beers at the bar. The man was thereafter placed under arrest and charged with DWI.

Based on records, on a previous case settled by the superior court in its decision held that a particular roadblock was illegal and violative against the operator’s rights. However, the court indicated that under the proper situation roadblocks, even for the avowed purpose of detecting intoxicated drivers, could meet the legal restrictions and be valid. The court set forth certain criteria for a valid roadblock. A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said he criteria includes that the inconvenience to the motorist be minimized, that the selection procedure not be random, that the safety of the motorist be assured, that the roadblock be systematic in nature and that the roadblock be established pursuant to a pre-arranged plan of law enforcement agency, established by supervisory personnel.

The court is aware of the fact that drunk drivers are a hazard to the driving public as well as to the pedestrian traffic. In addition, the highly mobile and visible nature of automobiles has traditionally resulted in an individual’s lesser expectation of privacy while driving an automobile than in one’s home or other constitutionally protected areas. The deaths and serious injuries caused by intoxicated drivers have resulted in the performance of stricter laws regarding the apprehension and punishment of a drunk driver.

Conclusively, the testimony before the court indicates that the roadblock was set up in accordance to a plan authorized by supervisory personnel of the sheriff’s department of the county with the specific aim of detecting intoxicated drivers at a specific location during a specific time period.

A Queens Criminal Lawyer said the court consequently concludes that upon the facts presented, the criteria established for the abovementioned roadblock is protective of every individual’s constitutional rights. The man’s motion to dismiss the charge against him is denied by the court.

It is important that in every action we make, we must take full responsibility. We must be committed to driving responsibly because there are lives that might be lost or persons who might get hurt. If you want to be represented by the New York DWI Lawyers, feel free to call the office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates. If you are the one who got hurt because of other people’s negligence, ask guidance from the New York DUI Lawyers.

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