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States Announce Increased DUI Checkpoints for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s day is a holiday that many people across the country associate with drinking. As such, it is not surprising that there is typically an increase in DUI arrests in the month of March when many cities hold St. Patrick’s Day parades and festivities. Many cities and states increase DUI checkpoints during those times, as evidenced by a recent announcement in Pennsylvania. While DUI checkpoints are lawful in most states, they must be conducted in a specific manner; otherwise, they may be unconstitutional. If you are charged with a DUI crime, it is important to talk to

an Illinois DUI defense lawyer about your rights.

Increased DUI Checkpoints in Pennsylvania for St. Patrick’s Day

It is reported that in the City of Pittston, Pennsylvania, the Mayor recently emphasized zero tolerance for disobeying the law, particularly regarding DUI, during a safe driving press event leading up to the St. Patrick’s Day parades. He announced extra officers would be on duty for parade day to ensure safety. Officials from various organizations gathered to discuss impaired driving enforcement for the upcoming parades, highlighting the importance of designated drivers and safe transportation.

Allegedly, a representative of the PA DUI Association also stressed the need for responsible choices to avoid the consequences of impaired driving, while an attorney from the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office announced extra DUI checkpoints for the weekends of the parades.

Illinois Law Pertaining to DUI Checkpoints

In Illinois, DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checkpoints or roadblocks, are permitted under state law as long as they adhere to specific guidelines to ensure constitutionality. These guidelines, established by the Illinois Supreme Court, require that checkpoints be conducted with a focus on minimizing intrusiveness and protecting individual rights. This includes providing advance public notice of the checkpoint through local media outlets to inform motorists of its location and timing.

Furthermore, checkpoints must be established at neutral locations based on factors such as traffic volume and safety considerations rather than arbitrary or discriminatory factors. Each checkpoint must be overseen by a designated supervisor within the law enforcement agency to ensure compliance with legal requirements, and officers must follow uniform procedures for stopping vehicles and conducting inquiries.

The duration of each stop should be brief, limited to the time necessary to determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of impairment, and unnecessary delay or intrusion into motorists’ privacy should be avoided. Law enforcement agencies are also required to maintain written guidelines outlining the procedures and protocols for conducting DUI checkpoints.

Talk to a Skilled Illinois DUI Defense Attorney

While DUI checkpoints are legal in Illinois, they must adhere to these stringent guidelines to safeguard motorists’ constitutional rights, and if they do not, there may be grounds for suppression of evidence obtained at the checkpoint. If you are charged with a DUI crime after you were detained at a checkpoint, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney about your options. Attorney Theodore J. Harvatin of the Harvatin Law Offices, PC, is a skilled DUI defense lawyer who can fight to help you protect your interests. You can contact Mr. Harvatin by calling 217.525.0520 or using the online form to arrange a meeting.

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