A main factor in DUI roadblock cases is the roadblock location. Because the roadblock represents a stop and seizure, and a considerable invasion of your everyday life, there should be a good reasons behind the surrounding questions; who, what, when, where and why. These questions will weigh in on the balance of interests laid out by the US Supreme court (for more info read the 4th Amendment Balancing Test). And when it comes to location, there are some unique factors.
Location and Public Interest
One of the main balances considered in the legality of any given roadblock is how it advances the public interest. In this case, how effective a roadblock is at cracking down on drunk driving. Courts in Arizona have concluded that a roadblocks effectiveness will be governed by its location. First, it should be placed in an area with a high incidence of DUI arrests or accidents.
Location is a Pivotal Factor
Many courts have taken the location to be a pivotal factor, in determining the legality of the roadblock. What most courts will now demand in analyzing a roadblock is empirical data concerning its effectiveness, or its expected effectiveness. They want statistics about DUI’s given in the same area in the past, about similar DUI roadblocks nearby, about drunk-driving incidents in the area, etc.
Overall, the location of the roadblock is a critical element for any defense fighting a DUI charge. Though the federal government has ruled them legal, many states have overlayed their own laws that increase individual rights in the face of roadblocks.