Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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Are DUI checkpoints considered entrapment?

You have probably seen notifications from news stations or your Connecticut law enforcement about DUI checkpoints. These are when officers set up a roadblock to check drivers for driving under the influence. They are most common around holidays, and they are always announced in some form. Some people have asked the question if this is a form of entrapment, which is illegal under the law, because you would be driving right into a situation where you could possibly go to jail.

According to the Valley Independent Sentinel, DUI checkpoints are not unconstitutional or entrapment. The reason is those announcements that inform the public about them beforehand. The US Supreme Court mandates that law enforcement announce the location and time of any checkpoint to avoid the claims of entrapment. 

However, it was not always a requirement to announce them. In fact, it was not a requirement until a 1990 ruling. Before that time, checkpoints were a surprise. You could drive into one without even knowing. The Court decided this was "detention without reasonable suspicion." That is illegal under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

If a DUI checkpoint is not announced and you are detained because of what is found during the stop at the checkpoint, then that evidence cannot be used in court. However, if it was announced, then it is perfectly legal in this state. You may want to note, though, that checkpoints have been deemed illegal in some states and are not practiced there, but the majority of states do as Connecticut does. This information is for education only and is not to be taken as legal advice. 

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