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Can I Avoid a DUI Checkpoint in SC by Turning Around?

Can I Avoid a DUI Checkpoint in SC by Turning Around?

Police departments throughout South Carolina set up DUI or sobriety checkpoints to arrest intoxicated motorists and keep the roads safe, especially on the weekends and holidays. These checkpoints are legal under both federal and state law and officers must follow certain rules to properly administer them. 

Imagine you are driving home after you have had a few drinks. You notice a sobriety checkpoint up ahead, but you also realize you can turn around or turn into another street to avoid the checkpoint altogether. You may be wondering if it is legal to do so. 

Fortunately, turning down another road or otherwise making a legal driving maneuver to avoid the checkpoint is not against the law. However, if you violate a traffic law in order to bypass a checkpoint, a police officer has the right to pull you over. 

Common traffic violations include: 

  • Making an illegal U-turn 

  • Failure to use your turn signal 

  • Failure to yield 

  • Disobeying a traffic sign or signal 

  • Crossing a solid white or yellow line 

  • Driving over a divider 

  • Driving the wrong way 

Keep in mind, legally turning away from a DUI checkpoint may still catch the attention of the police. An officer may follow you to see if you display any signs of drunk or drugged driving, or see if you violate a traffic law. 

If you have been arrested for a DUI after attempting to avoid a sobriety checkpoint, an experienced defense attorney can assert that the officer had no probable cause to stop and detain you. If a judge or jury rules that the police failed to establish probable cause, your DUI case will be dismissed altogether. 

Arrested for a DUI in Lexington or Columbia, SC? Call the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC at (803) 359-3301 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation. 


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