Behan Ramsell, P.L.L.C.

520-220-5047

1-800-DIAL-DUI

( 1-800-342-5384 )

945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705
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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_744414736.jpgDUI checkpoints, or DUI roadblocks, are run throughout Arizona. DUI Checkpoints often receive federal funding for checkpoints run around holidays such as July 4th (Independence Day), Memorial Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve and Day. The roadblocks might pop up for several days or at several locations.

The United States Supreme Court has approved roadblocks but requires that they have several features:

  • The roadblock should be well-lit with proper signage and safety cones etc.;
  • Stops must be made systematically (such as every 3rd car) and not arbitrarily changed;
  • Officers at checkpoints must be given very limited discretion as to what they can or cannot do;
  • The purpose of the roadblock must be lawful (such as to catch drunk drivers) and not for the detection of ordinary criminal wrongdoing;
  • There must be an operational plan approved by supervisory personnel;
  • The location (or site selection) and time must be approved by supervisory personnel;
  • There must be advance publicity announcing the checkpoint.

Many times, the police must meet certain minimum arrests or contacts in order to qualify for money from the federal government.

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Tucson DUI defense attorney constitutional rightsRecently, Attorneys Michelle Behan and Donald Ramsell co-authored an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief which was filed with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). This brief was in support of the petitioner in the case of Gerald P. Mitchell v. Wisconsin.

The brief made a number of arguments regarding people’s rights when asked to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) tests in DUI cases. First, it argued that tests such as blood draws are covered by the Fourth Amendment and that a warrant should be required in order to conduct this type of search. In addition, “implied consent” laws are problematic, since they waive a person’s Constitutional rights to give voluntary consent to a search.

Second, the brief argued that the electronic warrant procedures implemented by the majority of states should be used in DUI cases. The ability to obtain a warrant in minutes makes legislated consent unnecessary and helps avoid the over-broad application of implied consent rules.

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