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Roadblocks in Hawaii

County police departments establish roadblock programs. Each program must meet the minimum standards and guidelines.  

The minimum standard for roadblock:

  • require all vehicles approaching the block be stopped or that certain vehicles be stopped by selecting vehicles in a specified numerical sequence or pattern
  • be located at fixed locations for at most three hours
  • provide the minimum safety precautions:
    • at least proper illumination
    •  off-road or other safe holding areas for vehicles involved in the roadblock stop
    • uniformed officers with proper identification
    • advance warning of the purpose and fact that there is a roadblock by sign posts, flares or other methods
    • termination of roadblocks by law enforcement where traffic congestion would result
  • provide sufficient quantity and visibility of uniformed officers and official vehicles to make sure things move along quickly and comply with the purpose of the roadblock.

If the driver is stopped at a roadblock and the officer believes there is reasonable suspicion that the driver was under the influence of an intoxicant, the officer will take possession of any license held by the driver. The officer will also request the person to take a test to determine the alcohol concentration or a drug content test in the blood or urine.

When the police at a sobriety roadblock stop a driver, the prosecutor must show the search of the car and any testing or arrest was reasonable. Each county police must establish procedures relating to sobriety roadblocks, and the procedures must be followed. Where the sobriety roadblock where the defendant was stopped and arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicating was moved by the officer in charge from another authorized location because of “traffic congestion,” but the officer in charge had no such authority, seizure of the defendant was illegal and all the evidence that flowed from the seizure will not be admitted into evidence.


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