Sobriety Checkpoints: Are They Legal? What You Can Expect At These Stops

There have been so many people killed or seriously injured by drunk drivers in the past. So it’s not very surprising that many states have set up DUI checkpoints to catch inebriated drivers behind the wheel. By catching them out at these DUI checkpoints, police can get them off the road before a serious vehicle accident takes another life including the life of the drunk driver.

Every year, nearly 23,000 people die because they were involved an accident caused by a drunk driver. Countless other people are injured. Due to these outrageous numbers, state governments knew they needed to do something to make the roads safe for everyone.

When Are Sobriety Checkpoint Set Up

Many times cops will hold DUI checkpoint when it’s the holidays, as more people are on the road with many of them inebriated. Sometimes cops Sober living near you will hold checkpoint during the overnight hours especially on the weekends to get a handle on the drunk drivers. It’s true that checkpoint can cause people to become inconvenienced and both drunks and sober people resent them. However, they can do save lives because they reduce the number of drunks on the road, which reduces the number of vehicle fatalities.

Constitutional Challenges To Sobriety Checkpoint – Legal But Must Follow Guidelines

There have been several challenges to sobriety checkpoint and their constitutionality especially dealing with unreasonable searches. The United States Supreme Court ruled, however, that checkpoint looking for DUI suspects are legal so long as the guidelines are followed.

Rule 1 – Public Must Know Before The Checkpoint Is Established

To start off with, checkpoint times and locations must be made known beforehand to the driving public. This means placing in ads in the newspaper, television and on the Internet so that any person can know when and where a sobriety checkpoint will be.

Rule 2 – Not Every Vehicle Gets Scrutinized

When a DUI checkpoint is setup, not every single vehicle will get checked out. After all, it’s not legal to do so; thus, they need to be chosen from a neutral formula. Police may check out every two or three cars but they must stick to the program. If not, the DUI case could be legally tossed out.

Rule 3 – Police Motorcycles Can Pull Over Vehicles Who Avoid Checkpoint

You can, if you come across a sobriety checkpoint, take another route to avoid it or even turn around. However, it’s been seen time and again that a motorcycle unit will follow and pull over those vehicles who have tried to avoid the checkpoint. Of course, the easiest way to avoid sobriety checkpoint is to not be driving after you have been drinking.

What Will Police Be Checking For At These Sobriety Checkpoint

Keep in mind that the same standards will apply at these checkpoints like they would any other place. If you’ve been found to have been drinking and your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or more, you will be arrested for drinking and driving. Any person under 21 years of age with a BAC of 0.01 percent will be under arrest as well. If there is an open container in your vehicle, you’ll also be arrested.

Most people associate drinking with good times. However, if you’re going to drink away from home, it would be in your best interest and those on the road to either call a cab to take you home or have someone sober to take you home. Remember to stay responsible to keep yourself safe and out of jail and/or the hospital.

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