Each state, including Michigan, has a strong interest in prohibiting drunken driving. Under Federal constitutional law, when a court is asked to rule on the legality of a particular sobriety checkpoint, the appropriate balance must be found between the public interest in the prevention of crime - here, specifically, drunk driving - and the individual's privacy and right to be left alone by the State.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that highway sobriety checkpoints are legal under the Fourth Amendment, and thus lawful under the U.S. Constitution. Individual states are free to provide their citizens with more protections under their own State Constitutions.
The Michigan Supreme Court has interpreted the Michigan Constitution as prohibiting police stops of vehicles if there is no reasonable suspicion or search warrant. Even if the stop is for a brief time and to advance the strong public interest of fighting drunk driving, random sobriety checkpoints are currently illegal in Michigan.
If you believe you have been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, or something similar, you should immediately call the lawyers at Kronzek & Cronkright, Michigan's Drunk Driving Attorneys. Our defense attorneys have been successfully fighting drunk driving cases for decades. We can be reached at 1-866-766-5245 and have an attorney on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!
Federal rights under the U.S. Constitution are the bare minimum legal protections which apply to ALL citizens of EVERY state. Some states allow sobriety checkpoints and implement them as part of campaigns to prohibit people from drinking any alcohol and then driving. Any stop of a vehicle by a police officer is called a "seizure" under State and Federal law, and such a stop is legally required to be "reasonable." To qualify as reasonable, the stop must be based upon specific, objective facts relied upon by the police officer to justify pulling the vehicle over. Otherwise a checkpoint, under Federal constitutional law, can only be used pursuant to a clearly-defined plan. There are restrictions on the discretionary actions of individual police officers. Drunk driving checkpoints are required to meet certain guidelines governing checkpoint operations, site selection, and publicity in order to comply with Federal law. Under Federal law, police officers are limited in their use of DUI, DWI, and OUI checkpoints based on the Fourth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
Contact us about your legal matter today! Call us at 1-866-766-5245.