Skokie is a typical Illinois community north of Chicago. Like so many other small towns and big cities across the United States, Skokie receives federal grant money to conduct DUI checkpoints. The problem, at least according to some observers, is that most of the citations handed out at Skokie’s DUI checkpoints are for minor offenses unrelated to driving under the influence. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that Illinois drivers stopped at DUI checkpoints – from Chicago and its suburbs to sleepy communities like Skokie – are far more likely to be cited for a broken taillight or another minor infraction rather than for driving under the influence.
Over a six-year period in Skokie, police officers issued 29 citations for every DUI arrest they made. Across Illinois, officers at DUI checkpoints issued 270,000 citations in that same six-year period, and 93 percent of those citations were for minor offenses – not DUI. Thus, the question arises: Are DUI checkpoints worth the cost, the effort, and the imposition? Is public safety enhanced, as supporters of the checkpoints maintain, or is the public safety rationale just an excuse for local governments to collect extra revenue? The Tribune interviewed a number of observers with concerns.
If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint in southern California, be polite. Produce your driver’s license and vehicle registration if a police officer asks to see them, but otherwise, exercise your right to remain silent. If you are arrested for DUI at a sobriety checkpoint, you’re going to need the legal advice and services of an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer as quickly as possible. An experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer can challenge the state’s case against you and fight aggressively on your behalf, but you must take the first step in your own defense and make the call immediately after any DUI arrest.