Viral DUI checkpoint video raises questions - WKRN News 2

Viral DUI checkpoint video raises questions


A video showing a DUI checkpoint during the Fourth of July holiday is sparking debate about what rights people have when going through a checkpoint as opposed to being pulled over by police for a traffic violation.

The video, posted to YouTube by Middle Tennessee State University student Chris Kalbaugh, has been viewed more than 2.8 million times and has generated more than 39,000 comments.

According to Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney Lisa Eischeid, during a DUI checkpoint, officers only have a short time to develop probable cause to search your car or administer field sobriety tests. 

"We are talking seconds not minutes," she explained. "The United States Supreme Court says otherwise being detained longer violates your fourth amendment rights."

The fourth amendment protects people from unlawful search and seizure.

During a traffic stop, according to Eischeid, officers have more time to detain you because the stop was a result of another action that gave them probable cause to make the stop in the first place.

"During the stop, if they notice other things like alcohol, they can then investigate further," she explained.

Eischeid said the YouTube video was a good thing for the MTSU student to share because it shines a light on behavior that a lot of lawyers hear about from their clients.

"I think the video that has gone on YouTube is eye opening," she said, adding, "We see it every day."

Eischeid says the video also shines an important light on how officers behave in the field when they think no one is watching. 

"I think there are a lot of people who don't know what goes on out there after 4 in the afternoon Monday through Friday," she said.

The driver in the video was not arrested.  He told Nashville's News 2 Monday he is not doing interviews until he talks to his lawyer.

DUI checkpoints have to be published so people know where and when they will occur.

The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office is looking into the deputy's behavior.  They have not said if they have completed their review.

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