DUI checkpoints, or DWI checkpoints, are traffic stops that are placed at random intersections. They are generally unannounced and placed in areas and during times where there is a high amount of traffic. Police officers may block off a section of the road and screen many cars at once. Thus, DUI sobriety checkpoints are often called “roadblocks”. These often occur at later hours after midnight when drunk driving tends to be more common.
What Is the Purpose of a DUI Checkpoint?
The purpose of such stops is to allow police to screen drivers and perform sobriety tests on drivers whom they suspect might be driving under the influence. They may check for signs such as an alcohol smell coming from the driver, or an appearance of being intoxicated. Police do not need reasonable suspicion to stop any cars at a DUI checkpoint.
While DUI checkpoints mainly focus on preventing drunk driving, they can also serve other purposes, such as:
- Enforcing various roadway safety measures (such as headlights, seatbelts, etc.)
- Allowing police to check for valid licenses and registrations
- Enforcing security measures at a state or international border area
Can I Refuse a DUI Test at Random Checkpoint?
You generally have the right to refuse to take a sobriety test at a random DUI checkpoint. However, you should be aware that there may be several consequences of doing so. For instance, some state laws may suspend a person’s license if they refuse such a test. This can happen even if the person is eventually found to be not guilty of a DUI.
Other consequences may include actions with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which can be time consuming and complicated. You should also be aware that each state has different laws regarding DUI checkpoints. For instance, the DUI checkpoint laws in Texas may be drastically different from those in Florida.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with DUI Checkpoint Laws?
DUI checkpoint laws can be complex and may also be very different from place to place. It’s in your best interests to hire a qualified DUI lawyer if you have any questions, concerns, or legal issues with checkpoint laws in your area. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice on the laws in your state, and can also represent you in court if you need to make an appearance in a court of law.