Illinois police are allowed to set up roadblocks to catch drunk drivers within certain guidelines. The checkpoint can only be minimally intrusive to the driver, it must look official, and it must follow police department rules.

But even if your car was not selected for a stop, police can still pull you over if they reasonably suspect you of criminal activity. And that criminal activity can be as simple as driving too fast through the checkpoint.

In a new Illinois Appeals Court case, police stopped every third car at a DUI checkpoint. The defendant’s car was not among those selected, but the officer thought he was driving too fast and motioned for Defendant to slow down. People v Clements. The Defendant thought he had been asked to stop and so he parked within the checkpoint area. The officer, suspecting the Defendant of drinking, asked that he perform certain tests which led to the Defendant’s DUI arrest. The Appellate Court upheld the officer’s handling of the case.

If you are stopped near a roadblock, even though your stop is not part of the roadblock, the State must prove that the officer had a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing based on specific and articulable facts. An officer cannot pull you over because he had a hunch or because you look “like a criminal.”

If you are charged with DUI, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review the case to see if the police had a valid reason for stopping you. In some cases, an attorney can bring a motion to suppress the evidence against you and maybe even get the case dismissed. Even if the police had that reasonable suspicion to stop you and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an experienced attorney respected in the courthouse can often obtain a better plea agreement than you might negotiate on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal, DUI or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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