DUI checkpoints, which are also known as roadside safety checks or sobriety checkpoints, are designed to allow law enforcement to check for intoxicated motorists. They are generally set up around holidays, such as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day, which are known for increasing the number of intoxicated drivers on the road.
In spite of a number of challenges to their legality, DUI checkpoints were
ruled both reasonable and legal by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1990. They have been deemed legal even in states that require officers to have reasonable suspicion of a driver’s intoxication before pulling them over. Currently, there are only 12 states that do not use DUI checkpoints due to a restriction in the state’s constitution or state statutes.
If someone is pulled over or stopped at a checkpoint, they may refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test, but if they choose to do so, they will run into legal problems due to implied consent laws. Implied consent laws are present in all 50 states, and they state that individuals who apply for a driver’s license have given consent to being tested for impairment. Therefore, if someone does refuse to submit to a test, they are likely to face penalties that might include license suspension and fines. In cases where someone has a past DUI conviction, penalties for refusing a test may be increased.
If someone has been stopped at a DUI checkpoint and refused to submit to a BAC test or is charged with a DUI, they may be facing a variety of penalties if they are convicted. These sanctions might include heavy fines and prison sentences, depending on the circumstances. Those who have been charged should contact a criminal defense attorney who might be able to review the situation and build a case that protects a client’s rights.