To help curb the number of drunk drivers on the roads and improve overall road safety, law enforcement sets up DUI checkpoints. Even if you have not been drinking, you must stop and comply with law enforcement at DUI checkpoints. Though there is no acceptable reason for motorists to ignore DUI checkpoints, some drivers alter their routes to avoid them.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many DUI checkpoints occur in locations where drunk driving is likely. Here is what you should know when you encounter one.
Comply with law enforcement
As you approach a DUI checkpoint, prepare to follow the orders of the officers in charge. They may direct you to pull over so they can ask a few questions and assess your condition for inebriation. You must provide your name, birthdate, legal identification, registration and other legal driving documents to the officers if they request them. Act in a respectable manner and try to focus and follow all instructions.
Pass the assessment
Law enforcement can detain you and ask you to perform field sobriety tests if they deduce from speaking with you that you are operating a vehicle while under the influence. Evidence of intoxication includes watery or red eyes, inability to speak clearly, confusion, open alcohol containers or paraphernalia inside of the vehicle and alcohol odor.
For traffic stops, law enforcement must have probable cause. At DUI checkpoints, officers do not need probable cause because ignoring or failing to stop for questions/evaluation is unlawful and could lead to your arrest and additional criminal charges.