Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

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Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

Fairfax county patrol are always on the lookout for law-breakers and illegal behavior. However, once in a while, the police makes their intentions known to those in the community. One of those such times where local authorities announce their plans for a sobriety checkpoint in Fairfax County, one of which occurred over the past weekend. A sobriety checkpoint is different from a regular traffic stop and is subject to its own rules and regulations to ensure lawful search and seizure.

Oftentimes, sobriety checkpoints are announced prior to their execution by authorities. Sobriety checkpoints aren't like regular traffic stops. A barricade is set up and drivers are picked at random to be searched and investigated for evidence of intoxication, among other behaviors. Most often, sobriety checkpoints are set up on busy highways that are well traveled by a number of motorists.

The checkpoints are meant to weed out intoxicated drivers in a quick manner. Since intoxicated drivers don't always portray typical intoxicated driving behaviors, this method can detect intoxicated drivers by randomly selecting their vehicle and conducting sobriety tests or other forms of investigation on behalf of authorities.

However, the Fairfax authorities must conduct the sobriety checkpoints in a legal manner, which is why they have to announce their plans prior to performing the sobriety checkpoint. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states have a "compelling interest" when it comes to ending drunk driving and that any concerns about "intrusion" into the privacy of the driver is outweighed by the concerns for public safety under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.

Those facing DWI or DUI charges related to stops made during a sobriety checkpoint do have the right to defend themselves and build a quality criminal defense. This may be in a person's best interest as serious consequences can result related to drunk driving charges and conviction. BAC levels would have to exceed the legal limit of .08 in order to be charged with a DUI or DWI in Fairfax County. A DUI checkpoint is one means by which a person can be charged with an intoxicated driving-related charge.

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Fairfax, Virginia 22030

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