As one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, Las Vegas
is a hub of entertainment and culture. The city is constantly buzzing
with crowds of people and law enforcement has to work hard to keep crime
to a minimum. A big part of this involves setting up regular sobriety
checkpoints throughout the city. Although sobriety checkpoints do not
have to be publicized prior to their setup, most can be found by looking
online or listening to the radio.
The big question surrounding these checkpoints is whether they're legal
or not. After all, aren't officers always required to have probable
cause before pulling someone over? Technically, yes, but the United States
Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are lawful and are the one
exception to the probable cause rule.
That being said, checkpoints must be set up based on the following requirements:
- The checkpoint must be set up on a highway location with visibility of
at least 100 yards in both directions.
- A stop sign must be placed at the checkpoint with visibility of at least
50 yards in both directions.
- At least one flashing light must be placed at the checkpoint with visibility
of at least 100 yards to oncoming traffic.
- "Police Stop" warning signs should precede the checkpoint by
at least a quarter of a mile.
- A flare, light, or lantern must be placed by the "Police Stop"
sign to clearly attract attention.
Just like any other time when you're stopped by the police, you do
have the right to remain silent. Responding to questioning by saying something
like "I don't wish to answer that" is the best way to be
polite and avoid incriminating yourself.
Law enforcement does have the right to request that you perform field sobriety
tests and take a
breathalyzer test. While you can say no to the
field sobriety tests, refusing to take a breathalyzer will likely result in the
suspension of your license.
If you were arrested for a
DUI after getting stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, don't despair. My
firm has a track record of defending DUI charges successfully and will
provide aggressive representation for your case.
Schedule your consultation today with a Las Vegas DUI attorney!