Generally, police obtain the right to probable cause when a motorist commits a traffic violation, is potentially intoxicated at the wheel, or receives a tip that the motorist may be drunk at the wheel. The reason for these sobriety checkpoints according to the Supreme Court is to ensure the safety and security of every driver on the road. They believe this is the best and most efficient way to limit the potential for drunk driving that may result in a fatality of the driver and/or the general public.
Here are the guidelines set forth to ensure the constitutionality of the checkpoints:
- The observation of the driver must be minimal so that the motorist does not feel he or she is being singled out.
- The officer has a reasonable suspicion that the operating driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or contraband is in plain view.
- If this is the case, the driver will be directed to a secondary screening.
- During the secondary screening, the driver will be asked to drive onto the shoulder of the road, provide license & registration & might be asked to execute field sobriety tests.
- Depending on the results of the field sobriety tests, this could lead to an arrest.