Advance notice of OVI checkpoints mandatory - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Advance notice of OVI checkpoints mandatory

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Law enforcement agencies are required to announce the date, time and, and location of a DUI check point.  Ohio Highway Patrol Lieutenant Joe Dragovich says that five days prior law enforcement notifies the media. The day before the check point another notice is sent out, followed by a third notice.

"And, on the morning of, you'll send out a third release to notify the public and this is where you give them the details, date, time, and agencies participating and the hours the check point will be in place," said Lt. Joe Dragovich, Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The check point in place must include warning signs to let drivers know a check point is ahead. There are even requirements for the road selected.

"One of the requirements for a check point is there has to be another route, so they're not forced to enter that check point," said Dragovich.

When police pull a driver over, they need a legal reason to do that. That's one reason why in 1990, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that DUI check points must be advertised, otherwise they would be illegal. If not advertised, a check point would be a violation of the fourth amendment that protects citizens from illegal search and seizure.

In that case, our Nation's highest court determined the dangers posed by drunk driving outweighed intrusion on the fourth amendment, but it put restrictions in place on how searches must be conducted.

Even having to announce the date, time, and location of a DUI check point, the Ohio Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies said it is still an effective tool in it's arsenal. Since each time a check point is announced, it may get someone to think about the dangers of drinking and driving.

"It's not like you arrest a whole bunch of impaired drivers when you are conducing a check point, but you interact with a lot of folks and they do see we are taking it seriously. And it is an opportunity to talk about the dangers, and educate the public, so from that standpoint they are effective," said Dragovich.


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