DUI Checkpoint Rules/Guidelines

DUI Checkpoint Rules/Guidelines
Each year, thousands of drivers are stopped during roadside safety checks. Designed to help law enforcement identify drunk drivers, these checkpoints have grown increasing common over the past few years, with more and more of them popping up on busy streets and intersections across the nation. Although these random stops are legal under federal law, officers must follow a set number of DUI checkpoint rules and guidelines before a roadblock can legally be put in place.

As specified by the U.S. Supreme Court, DUI checkpoints are designed to protect and deter drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. To make sure officers don’t use checkpoints simply to apprehend offenders, federal DUI guidelines require law enforcement to announce the date and location of any planned roadblock to the public. As a result, you can often find out the date and location of roadblocks scheduled in your area, which means you can stay away from them.

Even if you don’t know exactly when or where a DUI checkpoint is scheduled, statistics can give you a good idea of the times they’re more likely to appear. In most cases, roadblocks occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. on weekends and holidays, and in areas near bars and other locations where alcohol is widely consumed. 

Officers are also required to provide a valid reason for setting up a DUI checkpoint—such as a high number of drunk driving arrests or alcohol-related accidents in a particular area, for example. There must also be a specific plan regarding which vehicles will be stopped during the roadblock (every other car, every third vehicle, etc.) and any deviation from this plan must be recorded.

One of the best ways to avoid being stopped in a roadblock is to simply avoid them. However, this may not always be possible, it is important to know the DUI guidelines that law enforcement officers must follow, as failing to do so can often be grounds to appeal your arrest and fight to get your case dismissed in court.

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