- Associated Press - Sunday, February 16, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A state District Court judge has let stand a City Court ruling that the Police Department violated the law when it a police supervisor was present and engaged in activities connected with DWI checkpoints.

State District Judge Don Johnson’s ruling on Jan. 31 denied an appeal by the city to a ruling in May by City Court Judge Yvette Alexander.

City Prosecutor Lisa Freeman told The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1nuHwR1) that her office will appeal Johnson’s ruling to the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.

The case hinges on whether the Police Department properly separated the duties of supervisors and field officers in conducting DWI checkpoints, as set forth in guidelines issued by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

“We feel confident that our checkpoints are valid,” Freeman said.

Alexander, in her ruling last year, agreed to suppress evidence collected at a Dec. 17, 2010, checkpoint that resulted in a DWI charge against Brian Parks.

“This is going to have implications for a lot of cases,” said Cliff Ivey, Parks’ attorney.

Ivey said he filed motions to suppress evidence on similar grounds for other clients charged in DWI checkpoints conducted by Baton Rouge police.

Johnson’s ruling is not limited to DWI cases in Alexander’s court.

According to guidelines set by the Louisiana Supreme Court in 2000, the location, time and duration of a checkpoint should be in writing and must be established by supervisory or other administrative personnel rather than the field officers implementing the checkpoint.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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