One of the more interesting types of cases I defend as a Massachusetts OUI lawyer is an arrest at a Roadblock or Sobriety Checkpoint. Theses cases are different from a typical OUI arrest and I have prepared a Special Report to explain the process of defending theses cases and have provided a summary of the law relating to Roadblocks. The Report contains the following:
1. It explains what a Roadblock or Sobriety Checkpoint is and how Courts have approved this arrest without any suspicion under the Constitution, both under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.
2. The Report discusses the legal requirements under Massachusetts OUI law that police must comply with in setting up a roadblock.
3. In Chapter 3, I explain how we can file a motion to suppress to challenge the legal basis of the Roadblock. Since any seizure without a warrant is presumptively unreasonable under the Constitution, the Commonwealth has the burden of showing in Court that it complied with all of the requirements of the law as set forth in the case of Commonwealth v. McGeoghegan, 389 Mass. 137 (1983).
Typically, the hearing on a Roadblock motion involves at least two witnesses and takes several hours of court time.
4. In Chapter 4, I detail why most Massachusetts OUI arrests at roadblocks make strong cases for trial. The primary reason is that the Commonwealth has no evidence of erratic driving and typically is forced to rely almost entirely on unreliable field sobriety tests to prove its case. This ultimately is not in many cases enough to satisfy the high burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
5. In Chapter 5, I review some of the Massachusetts Sobriety Checkpoint cases and discuss particular issues that have been raised in challenging roadblocks in prior cases.
6. In Chapter 6, I discuss some issues involving roadblocks in other States and in particular the issue of whether an attempt to avoid a roadblock provides the police reasonable suspicion to stop your car under the Constitution.
If you have any comments about this Special Report, please contact me with your opinions. I can be reached at 781-686-5924 or by email through this website. You can also watch a video where I address OUI Roadblocks in Massachusetts on my Youtube Channel.