a. Law – Connecticut’s controlling case, State of Connecticut v. Mikolinski, 256 Conn. 543 (2001), was decided on a police checkpoint that was implemented “almost to the letter” of the operational plan. All checkpoint stops must occur within the time frame stated by the police department executing the checkpoint unless a supplemental case report is executed as to what the change is and why it was needed. There are required guidelines with respect to operations, site selection and publicity.
- b. Sample Motion to Suppress
DOCKET NO. MV00-00000 : SUPERIOR COURT
STATE OF CONNECTICUT : JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF HARTFORD
VS. : AT G.A. 14 HARTFORD
DEFENDANT : DATE
DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO SUPPRESS TEST RESULTS AND ALL OTHER
EVIDENCE OBTAINED AFTER INITIAL STOP OF DEFENDANT’S VEHICLE
ON THE GROUNDS THAT ROADBLOCK PROCEDURES USED BY THE
POLICE WERE UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Defendant moves this Court enter an order suppressing all chemical test results and all other evidence obtained from Defendant after the initial stop at a sobriety checkpoint conducted by Hartford Police Department on the grounds that the detention, search, seizure, and arrest of Defendant were (1) in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and (2) in violation of Article I, Sections 7, 8, and 9 of the Connecticut Constitution.
In addition, as referenced in the attached exhibit “Sobriety Check-Point Hartford Police Operations Plan,” which the State has disclosed to the Defense after a discovery motion was filed, Section IV states “The checkpoint will be terminated no later than 0330 hours on 4/21/2006.” It should be noted that the Defendant was stopped at this checkpoint on April 22, 2006, which is the day following the last day the checkpoint was authorized. Because of this, the stop was illegal and all evidence obtained should be suppressed.
As a result of the sobriety checkpoint procedures implemented by Hartford Police Department on April 22, 2007, Defendant’s vehicle was stopped at the intersection of High Street and Main Avenue. Defendant was asked to roll down the window of the vehicle and was then asked several questions, including Defendant’s name, address, whether Defendant had smoked marijuana that night. As a result of that questioning, Defendant was asked to step from the vehicle, perform a variety of coordination or field sobriety tests and then submit to two urine samples.
Defendant performed the field sobriety tests as requested by the police and later submitted to the urine tests, the results of which indicated a presence of THC Metabolite.
There was no probable cause initially to stop the defendant’s vehicle and the sole reason the vehicle was stopped was pursuant to a roadblock which was designed and instituted to protect drivers under the influence of alcohol. Because the State failed to set forth sufficient guidelines, standards and protocols for conducting the roadblock, and because the State failed to eliminate unnecessary discretion on the part of the investigating officers in conducting the roadblock, Defendant requests that this Court hold the roadblock procedures to be unconstitutional and to suppress the results of all urine test results, as well as any other evidence obtained from the Defendant. Pimental v. Rhode Island Dept. of Transp., 561 A.2d 1348 (R.I. 1989).
Like Rhode Island, Connecticut has similar restrictions on roadblocks. In State v. Mikolinski, 256 Conn. 543 (2001), the Court held the checkpoint plan must embody neutral criteria so as to restrict the officers’ discretion as to which cars to stop and all drivers are to be treated uniformly during the initial stop. The checkpoint must also be implemented “almost to the letter” of the operational plan. The plan relied upon in Mikolinski stated exact dates and times the plan would be executed. Here, because the Defendant was stopped at the checkpoint by the Hartford Police Department after the checkpoint end date and time the plan is unconstitutional and all evidence should be suppressed.
WHEREFORE, for the reasons stated above, Defendant requests that this Court enter an Order suppressing all chemical test results and all other evidence obtained from Defendant following the initial stop on the grounds that Defendant’s detention, search, seizure and arrest were in violation of the federal and state constitutional guarantees protecting a motorist’s reasonable expectation of privacy and security against arbitrary intrusions.
Ruane, Attorneys at Law
1 Enterprise Drive, Suite 305
Shelton, CT 06484