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Sunday, August 23, 2009

DWI Checkpoints in Charlotte: Booze It and Lose It

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is currently running their "Booze it and Lose It" campaign. DWI checkpoints are scheduled to be set up throughout Mecklenburg County through September 7th. Last night 114 drivers were arrested at a checkpoint station on South Boulevard near Pineville. Police arrested seven for DWI, issued three open container violations, forty five driving with a suspended license or driving with no license violations and one concealed weapon charge.

FYI: Booze it and lose it will be in full force this Saturday night in the Eastway division.

These checkpoints present defense attorneys and prosecutors with interesting legal issues. The US Supreme Court and North Carolina Courts have set forth constitutional guidelines that police must follow when running a checkpoint. If not followed, these cases can ultimately be dismissed upon the correct motion being heard in district court. I had a client last week charged with DWI. He was arrested several months ago at a license checkpoint ran by CMPD. I ran a motion to suppress for lack of probable cause to arrest and unconstitutional checkpoint. It worked out for him. The Court found lack of probable cause to arrest. All the evidence leading to his arrest that night was suppressed, leaving the District Attorney with no evidence to prove their case. The DWI is ultimately dismissed. These motions are an important tool that defense attorneys use in their DWI cases.

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