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DUI Checklanes Constitutional

Are DUI checklanes legal? According to the Kansas courts, these check lanes can indeed be legal. In fact, in the following case, City of Overland Park v. Rhodes, the court addresses the Constitutionality of stop points.

Rhodes had been forced to pull over at a DUI checkpoint in Overland Park, Kansas. He ended up being charged with DUI. Rhodes claimed the checklane was a violation of his constitutional rights. She claimed her breath test results should have been suppressed for failure to comply with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's policies and regulations. In making its determination, the court reviewed the Deskin factors. The court found:

1. officers had no discretion on who they stopped

2. statistics were not presented but the location was chosen due to the high drunk driving incidents in the area as well as a recent car wreck fatality

3. the checklane was scheduled from 11pm to 2am

4. the officers had two briefing sessions

5. even though no communication was made to the public at large, emails were sent to media outlets regarding the checklane.

6. There were sign put up which read, "DUI checklane ahead" and "prepare to stop"

7. Police insure safety

8. the checklane didn't cause Rhodes fear or anxiety

9. Statistically, the average length of time per vehicle in the DUI checkpoint was 147 seconds, 601 cars were involved, 10 DUI arrests were made, and all vehicles received information regarding drunk driving and alcohol.

The DUI checklane was deemed constitutional in this case. In the dissenting opinion, First Amendment rights were raised. However, the criminal defense lawyers and atotrneys never raised this issue during trial. The case was decided on July 8, 2011.