In order to protect citizens, there are various guidelines on how law enforcement can operate. This includes needing to have probable cause in order to pull a driver over. If an officer is on patrol and they suspect that a driver is under the influence, they need to have enough reason to assume this. They are not able to pull over anyone simply because they want to. One way around this is through random stops and this can include sobriety checkpoints.
A checkpoint is set up with numerous officers. Cars will need to travel through the checkpoint and random inspections will take place. Officers will be inspecting for signs of intoxication or impairment. If they believe that a driver is under the influence, then they can conduct a further inspection. These checkpoints are not used in all states, as some areas believe that they are a violation of rights. The state of Massachusetts does use these checkpoints on a year round basis. While these checkpoints do not always produce high results, law enforcement argues that they are used to deter drivers from getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
In order to conduct the inspection, the checkpoint will need to be announced before hand with the general area and time. These can be announced in the news, such as this sobriety checkpoint recently announced. While you can keep an eye out for these checkpoints, most people won't be able to learn about every one that is scheduled to take place. You may find yourself in a checkpoint and you could face false accusations. Officers may be hoping for the checkpoint to prove successful but this overzealousness could lead to innocent people being charged. OUI charges can be fought and if you are facing accusations of operating under the influence, call my office for a Springfield OUI attorney with over 20 years of experience.