Sobriety checkpoints often feel startling when you come across them without expecting them. Considering most states do not require police to set up advance warning, this happens quite often.
You may wonder, if you see a surprise sobriety checkpoint, can you actually turn before going through it? You might find the answer surprising.
When cops can stop you
LifeSafer discusses avoiding a sobriety checkpoint. The truth of the matter is that you can actually avoid these. In the same way that it is legal for officers to set them up at all, it is also perfectly legal for you to turn around and avoid going through them. In fact, some states actually require officers to set up alternative routes for those who want to avoid the checkpoint.
However, note that officers will look for people turning away. Though they cannot stop you for making a legal U-turn, they can stop you if your tail light does not work. From there, they can easily ask you to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) detection test if they have reason to suspect that you hit the road while under the influence.
How to avoid a checkpoint
In short, if you want to avoid a sobriety checkpoint, do so in a legal way. Do not make illegal U-turns. Do not speed or drive too slow. Do not cut others drivers off or commit other acts of aggressive driving. Do not swerve or weave through lanes, and do not drive over a yellow lane incorrectly. If you turn around and leave while abiding by the law, then you are good to go.