DUI Checkpoints

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Rules of the Road: Driving Tips

Over the New Years weekend, I heard stories about DUI checkpoints all around the city and state.  Are they legal? The US Constitution seems pretty clear that police can’t just stop someone and conduct an “investigation” unless  there are facts indicating possible criminal activity (i.e. is there probable cause?).

With a bit of research, I found that the US Supreme Court ruled that DUI roadblocks (or sobriety checkpoints) were “necessary” and “effective”.  Some states have fired back saying they are unconstitutional and have overruled the  opinion.

The other staggering statistic I found is that of the people who “passed” a field sobriety test, 29% were cited for other vehicle infractions.  No insurance. Expired registration.  Lights out on vehicle, etc…  While the good news is that these people were not subjected to the nightmare of legal gymnastics involved with a DUI, they were ticketed and have to go through some sort of ticket dismissal process by either fighting it in court, taking a defensive driving course, paying the fine, or something similar.

Are these “checkpoints” going to become a more common sight?  If MADD had their way, they would, and with the ever increasing budget deficits that cities are facing, these could be more common as a revenue generator.
The website www.duiblock.com has information regarding the legality of the check points in your state and sign up for text notices to be sent to you if they are going to be in your area.
Remember, drinking and driving is NOT safe.  Distracted driving, whether, using your cell phone, texting or drinking is dangerous not only to you, but all others on the road.

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