While typically in conjunction with holidays associated with increased alcohol consumption, like Thanksgiving, July Fourth, and New Year’s, police in Lower Merion Township, PA will be out in full force this weekend and strictly enforcing DUI laws. The campaign will begin Friday, April 20 through Monday, April 23, and stems from the tradition of celebrating the unofficial “4/20 holiday” by using marijuana.

Law enforcement’s efforts are in partnership with the initiative, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” aimed at raising awareness and curbing impaired and drugged-driving. This program is funded by a PennDOT grant and one of the many tools, including intensified, highly visible enforcement activities.

You can read the full article here and for more information contact the Lower Merion Police Department at (610) 645-6204.

Your Rights at a 4/20 DUI Checkpoint

Whether the police believe you are driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other controlled substances, DUI checkpoints can be set up to look for impaired drivers. While officers can speak with drivers and look for signs of driving under the influence to establish probable cause that doesn’t mean you don’t have rights.

  • A DUI Checkpoint Must Be Visible – Police must set up a clear and noticeable checkpoint for approaching drivers.
  • A System Needs to be in Place – This can be difficult for a driver to immediately gauge, but cars cannot be stopped at random. For instance, officers must stop every other car and adhere to their initial plan.
  • They Should be Brief – Police officers can ask a few quick questions and look for signs of intoxication like the aroma of alcohol or marijuana and slurred speech. If the process is taking an unreasonably long time it could be considered an unlawful detainment.
  • Breath Tests Are Not Automatic – Sobriety tests cannot be administered to every driver stopped at a checkpoint. There needs to already be reasonable suspicion.
  • Searches Are Not Required –Simply being selected as part of a DUI checkpoint does not constitute a valid excuse to search you or your vehicle. However, if probable cause is established, they may conduct a physical search.

Contact Fienman Defense If You’re Charged on 4/20

In most cases, drivers pass through a DUI checkpoint with little hassle, but if the experience ends with criminal charges, contact an experienced Montgomery County criminal defense attorney. With an extensive background assisting individuals facing criminal charges related to marijuana possession, DUI, and other various offenses, attorney Michael Fienman knows what you are dealing with and how to help.

Contact Fienman Defense online or call (215) 839-9529 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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