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Is It Illegal to Dodge a DUI Checkpoint?

Is It Illegal to Dodge a DUI Checkpoint?

During prominent holidays, events, and in high population areas police may set up DUI checkpoints to catch inebriated motorists in the act. For drivers familiar with checkpoints, it can be tempting to turn around if you see one but is it illegal to do so?

DUI Checkpoints at a Glance

Sobriety checkpoints are temporary roadblocks used by law enforcement officers to screen motorists for impaired driving. At a checkpoint, police check drivers for signs of intoxication and may perform a vehicle search as needed if they have probable cause.

Implied Consent

The Fourth Amendment protects American citizens from unlawful search and seizure but implied consent allows law enforcement to have jurisdiction for DUI checkpoints. Implied consent is the idea that by driving on a public road, motorists give their consent for vehicle searches and inquiries. While some states argue that DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional, implied consent is a viable enough basis for legality.

So, is it illegal to avoid a DUI checkpoint?

Turning Around; Is it Illegal?

Law enforcement officers are well within their rights to stop drivers at DUI checkpoints, and it is not strictly illegal to avoid them. While drivers give their implied consent when on the road, avoiding a checkpoint is not a crime. However, it is illegal to make a u-tur to avoid a checkpoint. Breaking any traffic rules to avoid a traffic stop is considered illegal.

On the other hand, it is not illegal to turn on a side street or take an alternative route to avoid a checkpoint.

Additional Considerations

While it’s not strictly illegal to turn around before a checkpoint, it may raise suspicions. Additionally, if the driver avoids a checkpoint and is caught later for a DUI, it could cause reasonable suspicion about the driver’s potential inebriation.

Protect Your Independence

If you have been arrested for a DUI at a checkpoint, contact The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC. Our attorneys can gather evidence and assist with building a case on your behalf with your best interests in mind.

Contact our experienced attorneys for more information.


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