This time of year there are many Road blocks and DUI checkpoints in Rock Island County and the Quad Cities. It is important to drive safe but to also understand your constitutional rights. You have the right to refuse all tests. A police officer is entitled to briefly stop a person to investigate if, given the totality of the circumstances, the officer has specific, articulable facts, taken together with rational inferences from the facts, that warrant the intrusion. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21 (1968) (emphasis added). DUI roadblocks are a “seizure,” and they are legal if the intrusion created by the police is limited, i.e., reasonable. In People v. Bartley, the Illinois Supreme Court held that “[t]he [DUI] problem is so serious that . . . we hold that this interest is compelling and will therefore justify some intrusion on the unfettered movement of traffic in order to reduce alcohol-related accidents and deter driving under the influence.” 109 Ill. 2d 273, 285 (1985). See also Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990). The Bartley Court further held that a DUI roadblock does not violate the Fourth Amendment even where the officer has no individualized suspicion. Bartley, 109 Ill. 2d at 280 (emphasis added).
People will seek to avoid roadblocks for a variety of reasons. Commonly, people mistake a roadblock for a traffic accident and make a turn or a U-turn before entering the checkpoint. Some people may recognize the roadblock for what it is, a DUI checkpoint, and avoid it for no reason at all. Law Enforcement Officers will stop those who avoid DUI Checkpoints to justify reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop. Recently however, the Third District Court of Illinois ruled that a motorist can legally avoid a roadblock.
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Hanna & Ruud, LLC Attorneys at Law
1528 6th Avenue
Moline, Illinois 61265
United States (US)
Phone: (309) 797-9000