DWI Checkpoints are relatively common in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Many are established by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department CMPD pursuant to the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
It is a complicated area of law, controlled both by North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) 20-16.3A and appellate court case law.
Checkpoints are somewhat unique in that people are stopped and questioned without having had committed, or even being suspected of violating a criminal or traffic law.
Normally either “reasonable suspicion” or in some instances, “probable cause” is required prior to “seizure” by law enforcement. License checks and DUI checkpoints are subject to a fair amount of scrutiny by legal counsel and the courts.
Generally speaking, sobriety checkpoints are established:
- Using a “primary programmatic purposes,” where the Courts review the rationale for stopping motorists on a particular roadway and time; and,
- Limited in duration and scope; and,
- Narrowly tailored to achieve the objectives or “purposes” of the checkpoint; and,
- Do NOT allow discretion by individual officers in determining what particular vehicles to stop; and,
- Operated subject to a checkpoint plan or policy; and,
- Subject to supervision by senior level Law Enforcement.
If you, a friend or family member has been charged with a violation of N.C.G.S. 20-138.1 (Driving While Impaired) in North Carolina, please feel free to call NC criminal law firm Powers Law Firm PA today. Confidential initial consultations are free of charge.