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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

What you should know about DUI checkpoints

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can lead to severe consequences.

To curb drunk driving and ensure road safety, law enforcement agencies often create DUI checkpoints.

DUI checkpoint defined

Did you know that 13,384 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2021? This statistic is one reason for the establishment of DUI checkpoints. A DUI, sobriety or roadblock checkpoint is a planned location where law enforcement officers stop vehicles to check for signs of impaired driving. These checkpoints occur during peak times for drunk driving incidents, such as on weekends and holidays.

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows DUI checkpoints. However, law enforcement needs to adhere to specific guidelines to be lawful. First, these officers should announce the checkpoints in advance, follow a predetermined pattern for stopping vehicles and treat all drivers equally regardless of their appearance or other characteristics.

What to expect at a DUI checkpoint

When you approach a DUI checkpoint, you should see traffic cones and officers signaling you to stop. The officers will ask for your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. They will also observe your behavior and may ask questions to assess your sobriety. They may also request that you complete field sobriety or breath tests.

Consequences of failing a DUI checkpoint

Failing a DUI checkpoint can lead to arrest and subsequent legal proceedings. Penalties for a DUI conviction may include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense.

The best way to avoid DUI checkpoints and their potential consequences is to refrain from drinking and driving altogether. Designate a sober driver, use public transportation or utilize rideshare services if you plan to consume alcohol.