The Law Offices of John Phebus

Arizona police using more DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols

The Fourth of July holiday in Arizona and around the country is an opportunity to commemorate our nation’s independence, to watch fireworks, to enjoy a barbeque and to spend time with family and friends. It is also an occasion for heightened police activity on the roads, looking to catch those who have perhaps been too enthusiastic in their celebratory spirit.

Recently, Arizona police set up a checkpoint in the hopes of increasing DUI awareness for the upcoming holiday weekend. These checkpoints provide officers with an opportunity to systematically stop all vehicles at a designated area and speak with drivers. 

Police frequently use checkpoints in addition to saturation patrols; the difference between the two is that while checkpoints target a specific road location, saturation patrols cover an area that can include multiple officers at several locations.

While checkpoints have not gone out of style, saturation patrols are becoming more frequently used by Arizona police at least in part because statistics indicate that they tend to net more motorists who may be driving under the influence.

The basic message that these checkpoints and saturation patrols send is that drunk driving is a serious offense, and law enforcement is increasingly using these DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols to show everyone that not only do police take drunk driving offenses seriously, but you should too.

If you find yourself charged with a DUI or DWI, whether the charges stemmed from a checkpoint or not, it is best to consult with an attorney to discuss your options. It is important to remember there are procedures that must be followed during an arrest and that all suspects have rights that are protected under the law.

Source: Tuscon News Now, "What are my rights at a DUI checkpoint?," Sonu Wasu, June 26, 2014

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