Checkpoint Charlie was a major landmark during the days of the Cold War. It is perhaps best known as the key crossing point between East and West Berlin for diplomats, journalists and spies.
According to the official Berlin website, since reunification, there's not much today to remind visitors of Checkpoint Charlie except for some cobblestones and an original border sign. Yet, when we read about police activity this past weekend at what we might call Checkpoint Charlotte, it was the site in Berlin that sprang to mind.
The checkpoint was stationed in just a one-block section of the city and ran from 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. Saturday morning. Officials say they had resources on site from at least three different police agencies and they included a lab bus where suspects could be subjected to blood alcohol content breath tests.
In the brief span of time the checkpoint operated, officials say they arrested eight people on suspicion of driving while impaired. How many of them may have submitted to breath tests isn't clear from the information provided in media reports.
In addition to those charged with DWI, police say 18 people were arrested for driving under revoked licenses. One individual was charged with allegedly having an open container and five were charged with drug-related issues.
The strong show by law enforcement should not be taken to mean that all those caught up in the sweep of the checkpoint deserved to be charged. Even if all the DWI suspects did submit to breath tests, apparently failing them, it doesn't mean they were guilty. The results of such tests are often wrong due to mechanical issues, human error or physical issues that a defendant might be experiencing.
That being the case, it's always important to contact an experienced attorney to be sure you know all your options before deciding how best to handle drunk driving charges.
Source: WBTV-TV, "Police: 8 charged w/ DWI after Friday night checkpoint," Carline DuPre, June 28, 2014