Sobriety checkpoints can be very intimidating, especially if you are even mildly intoxicated. Fortunately, understanding a DUI checkpoint will help you through the process.
Here is what you need to know about DUI checkpoints.
There are rules
Like most things, there are rules to checkpoints. The first and probably most important thing is that checkpoints must be visible. Officers have to have one or more of the following:
- Uniformed officer
- Marked police cars with light bar on
- A safe location
- A predetermined pattern for stopping vehicles
DUI checkpoints should be easy to spot.
They often happen near holidays
Since resources are short, DUI checkpoints are usually set up around holidays when people are more likely to drink or ingest illegal substances. The most common holidays are:
- New Years Eve
- The Fourth of July
- Patrick’s Day
Holiday or not, police have to publish a notice about the checkpoint to give a warning.
They are legal
DUI checkpoints are legal. Although most traffic stops require probable cause, there is an exception for these checkpoints. When 30% of DUI accidents result in fatalities, Congress thought it was time to implement a system for reducing DUIs. This system is the process of stopping cars and checking for alcohol or drugs.
They may be avoidable
Since the checkpoint is visible and has an announcement, it may be possible to turn before you arrive. Although officers might see it as suspicious, it is possible.
The best thing to do is to have a designated driver or to not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.