Massachusetts DUI Roadblocks & Sobriety Checkpoints
Police activities at DUI checkpoints and roadblocks must be conducted in strict accordance with established policies and procedures such as Massachusetts State Police TPF-15 and the specific roadblock plans, which are established in advance. Where the police extended DWI roadblock operations past the 2:00 AM termination time, evidence obtained was properly suppressed.
Police officers conduct DUI sobriety checkpoints to detect drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol. These law enforcement operations are governed by Massachusetts State Police General Order TRF–15. Upon making initial contact with the driver, Troopers are instructed to be on the lookout for “any articulable sign of possible intoxication.” Indicators of possible alcohol impairment include: glassy and bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and alcohol containers in plain view. If these or other recognized signs are observed, the motorist is directed to a "secondary screening area" for further scrutiny and investigation which would likely include field sobriety testing and the administration of a portable or preliminary breath test (PBT).
Here, the Appeals Court ruled that the odor of alcohol alone provided reasonable suspicion to subject a driver stopped at a DUI checkpoint to "secondary screening."
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