LSU-Alabama DWI checkpoint begins legal battle
Baton Rouge attorney Franz Borghardt represents two of 30 people who were arrested for DWI after the LSU/ALABAMA football game last November. A police DWI check point was set up on Ben Hur Avenue near the campus that day.
Two of Borghardt's clients were scheduled Tuesday for an administrative hearing to determine if they could get their driver's licenses back due to a hardship. The Department of Public Safety holds these hearings, which is the beginning of a long legal process, to deal with DWI'S.
It was during that hearing that Borghardt unleashed his accusations. "We believe there were several constitutional deficiencies in the LSU vs. Alabama checkpoint," says Borghardt. "We completely concede that 100,000 people at a LSU football game, that there's reason to be concerned about public safety. It shouldn't come at the cost of civil liberties."
Baton Rouge Police on Wednesday refused to comment on any individual cases made during the check point but they say the cases were made correctly. "We were on Ben Hur not in Contra flow of the LSU game, the individuals coming and going to the game." says Cpl L'Jean McNeely. "We were there around 2 o'clock and so we were there before the game, during the game, and after the game."
Borghardt contends that proper procedures were not followed that night. "They said flares have to be out there," says Borghardt. "And if flares are not out there then you're not following the law. You're arresting people for the same thing that you're not doing. Not following the law."
"Well that's going to be handled through the courts," says Cpl McNeely. "That's not up to us to determine whether they feel it was handled correctly. They will have their day in court and they can argue that point."
The criminal portion of the crimes will be held predominately in Baton Rouge City Court. More than 15,000 checks were made at the check point, 57 tests were administered, and there were 30 DWI arrests.
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