Featured News 2018 Know Your Rights: DUI Check Points

Know Your Rights: DUI Check Points

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines DUI checkpoints as a tool used by law enforcement officers to penalize intoxicated drivers by stopping vehicles at a pre-determined location—both catching perpetrators and deterring potential DUI offenders. It also serves as a way of making the public aware of DUI as a safety problem.

The courts and the public have an uneasy relationship with DUI checkpoints. Some people think DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional, while others feel safer when they are conducted, believing it holds reckless drivers accountable when it needs it.

What Is the Purpose of DUI Checkpoints?

According to the California Highway Patrol, the purpose of DUI checkpoints is to decrease the number of drunk drivers on the road and prevent disastrous accidents from occurring. However, that may not be all that they accomplish.

According to studies from the University of California in Berkeley, DUI checkpoints generate a large amount of revenue for the state. The most of revenue taken from the DUI checkpoints in California are from impounding cars—approximately $40,000,000 in fines are given out (including towing fees). The total number of cars seized in 2009 is 24,000 cars—enough to fill the inventory of 10 large dealerships.

What Are Your Rights When Stopped a DUI Checkpoint?

It is generally advised not to say anything when an officer stops you at a DUI checkpoint. A person who is stopped at a DUI checkpoint also, by law, does not have to take the field sobriety test but must submit to any chemical testing that is requested of him. The only information that has to be given is general information such as your name, address, driver's license and registration.

However, there are requirements on the officers too. Police departments must publicly announce that there will be a DUI checkpoint a few hours to a day in advance. Additionally, it is not illegal to avoid a DUI checkpoint—however, if you attempt to escape one using an illegal turn, the police will stop you.

If you are facing charges for a DUI sentence, contact a criminal defense lawyer to help you today.

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