Massachusetts State Police opened fire at a driver who allegedly struck one officer and then police on a high speed chase after failing to stop at an OUI / DUI roadblock on Sunday in Lawrence and arrested him on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges.
The driver allegedly refused to stop at the checkpoint shortly after 2:00 a.m. on Sunday and drove right through it, allegedly striking a Massachusetts State Trooper, while other officers opened fire at the vehicle. After being apprehended following a chase by other troopers, the man was arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, and Assault & Battery on a Police Officer.
Following his arraignment in Lawrence District Court earlier this week, the man was held without bail.
In Massachusetts, it is legal for police to conduct OUI / DUI checkpoint or roadblocks as long as the cars they select to stop is not arbitrary and the procedure is conducted according to a plan devised by law enforcement.
A plan by police must be established, otherwise it is illegal for police to target which vehicles to stop. Even 'fixed' checkpoints where police stop cars according to no set plan or pattern is illegal. Simply, if the officers conducting the OUI / DUI checkpoint have any discretion in which cars they stop, the sobriety checkpoint could be declared constitutionally illegal.
For that reason, DUI / OUI sobriety checkpoints must be governed by set of standard and neutral guidelines, which must clearly forbid the arbitrary selection of vehicles to be stopped.
When a car is stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, the officer may lawfully request that driver to submit to a secondary screening only if he has reasonable suspicion, based on articulable facts, that the driver may be operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.