On May 31, 2019 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints that utilize other local police officers may be illegal if they do not meet certain state law requirements. This means two things: 1) you probably won’t be seeing a DUI Checkpoint this summer or any time in the near future, and 2) If you have a pending DUI case as a result of a DUI checkpoint you should consult with an attorney.
What the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Said
The case in question is Commonwealth v. Hlubin. In Hlubin’s case, she was stopped at a DUI checkpoint by an officer from another township. That officer questioned Hlubin and then directed her to a different officer who eventually formally arrested her for DUI. The problem with the checkpoint was that it was organized and run by a task force that consisted of several local police departments. That task force was never approved via ordinance by each of the participating local governments. As a result of the illegal suspicionless stop, all evidence regarding Ms. Hlubin’s DUI was suppressed (including the blood draw)!
What does this mean for you?
This means that if you have been arrested for DUI as a result of a DUI checkpoint, you may have a strong chance to get your case dismissed. The vast majority of local governments in the area utilize officers from various local police departments to run these DUI checkpoints. However, in order to use these officers at the DUI checkpoint every participating municipality must have also passed an ordinance agreeing to joint cooperation among the municipalities. In a majority of the municipalities in the area, there are no such ordinances. This means that much like Ms. Hlubin, your stop and subsequent arrest may have been illegal and the evidence obtained from your stop may not be admissible in court.
If you’ve been charged with DUI as a result of a DUI checkpoint, call Mudrick & Zucker P.C. for a free consultation.