DUI checkpoints serve a legitimate purpose

By Debbie Rolen

July 19, 2013

Recently, several media outlets and the public have raised concerns and questions about a viral video recorded at a DUI checkpoint in another State. Consequently, the West Virginia State Police hopes to address any concerns or questions and trusts common sense will prevail in these discussions.

Courts have determined that DUI Checkpoints serve a legitimate purpose concerning public safety and are constitutionally valid. The following court decisions allow for the establishment of DUI Checkpoints: Carte V. Cline (1995), West Virginia Supreme Court and Michigan State Police V. Sitz (1988), United States Supreme Court

“Failing to cooperate with officers who are lawfully performing their duties at a DUI Checkpoint will most likely have legal consequences,” said Colonel C. R.”Jay” Smithers. “Officers are trained to detect criminal activity, including driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a motorist acts in a manner which creates either reasonable suspicion or probable cause that criminal activity is taking place, then the motorist and the public should expect the officer to investigate the circumstances further. During such instances, a further inquiry serves the best interest of both officer and public safety.”

Any questions or requests for interviews should be directed to First Sergeant Michael Baylous at 304-746-2198.