As we head toward springtime we can start getting ready for spring break, concert season (Ruoff Music Center events), graduation parties, and sobriety checkpoints. Wait, what?
Checkpoints result in people being detained by law enforcement without any prior suspicion. Sobriety checkpoints are legal, but they have very specific requirements. If you are arrested as a result of a sobriety checkpoint, you should contact a lawyer who understands these requirements.
Every year law enforcement agencies such as the Hamilton County Traffic Safety Partnership and the Indiana State Police schedule multi-agency drunk-driving saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints to prevent alcohol related traffic crashes and to deter impaired driving. The Indiana State Police has announced that they will conduct one in Marion County on March 17, 2018.
Historically, in Hamilton County, these checkpoints begin in March and end in October.
These Hamilton County checkpoints are set up almost exclusively at four locations:
– 9709 Allisonville Road, Fishers
– 9880 Greenfield Avenue, Noblesville
– 2350 E. Conner Street, Noblesville
– 4146 East 96th Street, Carmel
The checkpoints on Allisonville or East 96th Street affect people returning home from restaurants on 96th Street. The two Noblesville locations affect people returning home from a concert at Ruoff Music Center (or Klipsch… or Verizon… or Deer Creek).
Leading up to the day of the checkpoint, the law enforcement agency will often issue a press release announcing the upcoming checkpoint. But, this does not mean that the media will actually report it.
The checkpoint should be avoidable. There should be signs posted ahead of its entrance and a legal bypass so drivers can avoid the checkpoint. Granted, avoiding the checkpoint might draw the attention of other law enforcement officers who might then decide to follow you to see how safely you drive.
Once vehicles enter the checkpoint, they should be stopped in a specific sequence, such as every third car. It is not unusual to see police cars, tow trucks, and even ambulances (that are not on an emergency run, of course) stopped in a checkpoint.
If your car is stopped, the officer should have specific instructions about what to say to you and what to ask. They will probably ask for your license and registration. Ultimately, this initial contact should be brief – less than three minutes. During that time, if the officer develops reasonable suspicion that the driver is not sober, or any other crime, the vehicle, and its occupants, may be detained longer for further investigation. If the officer does not observe anything suspicious during that initial contact, you and your car should be released.
The lawyers at Camden & Meridew, P.C. are experienced in the areas of tax law, family law, litigation, consumer law, criminal law, and bankruptcy. You can learn more by calling Corey Meridew at 317-770-0000 or completing our online contact form today.
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