Massachusetts Law on DUI Checkpoints

For persons charged with DUI / Drunk Driving Charges after having gotten stopped at a DUI Checkpoint, Massachusetts law mandates that the DUI Checkpoint must be reasonable.

In other words, in cases where a defendant is charged with Operation of a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol challenges the stop and ‘seizure’ at the checkpoint as not having been constitutional, Massachusetts criminal law places the burden on the prosecutor to prove that the roadblock seizure was conducted in accordance with certain guidelines. If the prosecutor fails to meet his burden that the checkpoint was reasonable and constitutional, your case be ultimately be dismissed.

In the 1983 case of Commonwealth v. McGeoghegan, the Massachusetts Supreme Court held that, in order for a roadblock to be permissible, the selection of cars stopped by not be arbitrary and assurance must be given that the procedure utilized by the police to conduct the DUI checkpoint is conducted pursuant to a plan devised by law enforcement. Additionally, the site selected for the DUI Checkpoint must a “problem area”, in other words, where accidents or drunk driving arrests have previously occurred.

DUI Checkpoints in Massachusetts are constitutional, therefore, only if the police officers conducting the checkpoints did so in strict accordance with the established guidelines. Failure to strictly comply with the guidelines, for example, extending a roadblock without authorization, can lead to a finding of non-compliance and a successful challenge to your DUI arrest.

Boston Drunk Driving Lawyer Lefteris K. Travayiakis is available 24/7 for representation on all Massachusetts DUI / OUI / Drunk Driving Charges.

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