The Franklin , Tennessee Police Department announced a DUI checkpoint for November 15,2013. From the announcement , it will be somewhere on Hillsboro Road.  In fact , the Franklin Police Department posted this announcement.  This is the teaching point of this post. In order to comply with any constitutional problem with DUI checkpoints or DUI roadblocks , the police in Tennessee have to comply with certain safeguards established by the courts.


Article I Section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution  regulates unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Normally , a car on Tennessee highways cannot be stopped without probable cause that a crime or traffic violation occurred. However , The Tennessee Supreme Court has  upheld DUI roadblocks if they conform to certain criteria.

In State of Tennessee v. Downey, the Tennessee Supreme Court set some guidelines for a DUI checkpoint;

  1. There must be limits on the police officer’s discretion.
  2. There must be a higher authority to select the time and location of the DUI checkpoint rather than the officers working the checkpoint or DUI roadblock.
  3. The procedures for the establishment of the DUI roadblock should be established by some administrative regulation or rule.

     In order for the DUI roadblock to be valid , it must comply with the law. Most jurisdictions in Tennessee adopt the Tennessee Highway Patrols guidelines set forth in general order 410-1,The bottom line is the state must follow the operating guidelines or the DUI arrested may be tossed. One of the main requirements is advance notice and publicity about the DUI checkpoint. In defending those stopped at a DUI checkpoint , one must make sure the administrative procedures are followed.

Drive safe and drink responsibly.