Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in South Carolina?

Almost every driver has encountered a DUI checkpoint at some point in their lives. They can be intimidating even for people who haven’t been drinking and driving. That’s because you can be cited for all sorts of things when you’re detained at a checkpoint in Greenville, South Carolina. You can get a ticket for a bad inspection or expired registration. You can even get into trouble with immigration if you’re pulled over at a DUI checkpoint.

The courts have declared that DUI checkpoints in South Carolina are legal. As long as they meet certain requirements, the Court will uphold the legality of these checkpoints. There are times, however, when a checkpoint may be declared unfair or unreasonable. That’s why it’s a good idea to call and talk to a DUI defense lawyer in Greenville if you’ve been arrested for DUI after encountering a checkpoint. If they can show that the checkpoint was illegal, then any evidence collected at the checkpoint will have to be thrown out.

If you’ve been charged with DUI, you should retain an experienced Greenville DUI defense lawyer anyway. But if your arrest was the result of a DUI checkpoint, your attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. There is so much at stake, you really shouldn’t try to handle this sort of thing on your own. That’s why you should call and schedule a consultation with our office as soon as possible after your arrest.

DUI Checkpoints Must Be Constitutional

In order to be considered legal, a DUI checkpoint in South Carolina must be constitutional. The 4th Amendment protects you from an unlawful search and seizure. Being detained at a DUI checkpoint in Greenville constitutes a seizure. And, if the police proceed to search your body or car, the 4th Amendment protects you as well. This is why the United States Supreme Court has held the DUI checkpoints need to meet certain standards.

In order to be considered lawful, a DUI checkpoint has to meet the following requirements:
It must be limited in time and scope – The courts require that a DUI checkpoint be done quickly and fairly. This means that the police cannot stop you for hours on end. If they don’t have reasonable suspicion that you’ve committed a crime, they can’t hold you up for longer than necessary. They also need to limit their stop to a certain purpose. If they’re looking for drunk drivers, they should limit their stop to DUI detection.

The checkpoint must be at a reasonable location – The police need to have an objective reason for setting the checkpoint up at a certain location. For example, if the neighbors have complained that a lot of drunk drivers use their road, the police may choose that location for a checkpoint. The same is true for a road that is used more frequently than others. The goal is to protect the public. The location has to make sense.

They cannot change the location randomly – The checkpoint has to be set up in one spot. The police can’t have a floating checkpoint. Just because they don’t catch enough people in one location, they can’t just move around randomly.

Your DUI defense lawyer in Greenville will review the information to see if the checkpoint was fair. If they can show that it was unreasonable, they may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Call and Talk to an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer Immediately

If you’re stopped at a DUI checkpoint after you’ve been drinking, there’s a good chance you’ll be arrested. The police set up their checkpoint specifically to catch drunk drivers. If they suspect that you’ve been drinking, they’re going to ask you to take a breathalyzer. They’ll also ask you to perform a field sobriety test. If you don’t perform well, you will be arrested for DUI. If this happens, you’ll be facing very serious consequences. The best thing for you to do is call and talk to an experienced DUI defense attorney in South Carolina.

Call our office as soon as possible after your arrest. You’ll need to attend your first hearing within a matter of days. This is where you’ll have to let the court know how you intend to plead. Your Greenville DUI lawyer will attend this hearing with you. They’ll also try to get your charges dismissed. There is so much at stake, you’re going to want a seasoned professional by your side. Call our office today and schedule your initial consultation.

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