Just days ago, the Chicago Police announced yet another “Roadside Safety Check” intended to catch and arrest drunk drivers. A roadside check is an opportunity for the police to set up road blocks and stop cars that pass by. Sometimes such a roadblock will involve stopping every single car, while other times the police will stop every red car or every third car, etc. Usually the advertised purpose of these roadside checks is to make sure that all drivers are operating cars that are in working order with windshields that aren’t cracked and functioning tail lights, headlights and turn signals. But the true purpose is generally to weed out drunk drivers and other drivers with more serious offenses such as those driving with suspended or revoked licenses.
There are specific rules that apply to police who wish to set up such a Roadside Safety Check. They can’t simply throw up some roadblocks wherever they choose and start stopping cars. An experienced traffic attorney can properly evaluate the circumstances of the arrest and determine if the roadblock was legal.
Assuming that the roadblock is legal, the police officer will typically come up to the vehicle, and conduct a visual search of the car, while paying close attention to whether the driver appears to be under the influence of a drug or alcohol, and whether the driver or passengers smell of alcohol or cannabis. The police officer will ask for a driver’s license and insurance at the same time. Often, what appears to be a simple check to make sure that the car is in working order turns out to be a much more serious misdemeanor or felony arrest for DUI or an invalid driver’s license. If you have been ticketed or arrested for an offense and would like to have a knowledgeable attorney examine your case without further obligation, call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC anytime at 1-800-996-4824 or 1-312-243-9922.