New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the biggest party nights of the year. Everyone is staying up late waiting to ring the New Year in with flair. All of this partying has a tendency to lead to a lot of drinking. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of people drinking and driving. In order to prevent accidents, many law enforcement agencies will setup DUI checkpoints.
DUI checkpoints may look intimidating, but they are nothing to worry about. After all, they are there to help keep the roads safe for everyone. So long as the person who is driving has not been drinking, they have nothing to worry about.
When a person drives up to a DUI checkpoint, they will likely be instructed to wait until an officer is available to talk to them. Once an officer is ready, they will wave the car forward. From there, the officer will ask the driver a few questions:
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- Have you been drinking?
The officer will also ask to see driver’s license and registration.
As long as there are no signs that the driver has been drinking, or consuming marijuana, then the officer will allow the driver to continue to their destination.
If the officer suspects that the driver has consumed alcohol, then the driver will be asked to pull over to the side where another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, then they could be ticketed, fined, and will likely have to wait for someone to come pick them up.
The whole point of DUI checkpoints is to keep drunk drivers off of the road. They increase in frequency around holidays that involve a lot of partying. That is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise if a driver finds themselves at a DUI checkpoint this New Year’s Eve.
Any driver who has encountered a DUI checkpoint before is probably aware of how slow they can be. Law enforcement officers set up on a stretch of road in order to stop and talk to every driver they encounter. This, naturally, slows down traffic and can make people late. This has the unfortunate side effect of causing people to hate DUI checkpoints.
DUI checkpoints can be tedious to get through as a driver awaits their turn to be interviewed by an officer. What some drivers are not aware of, is that they are legally avoid to avoid DUI checkpoints, provided they don’t break any road laws in order to do so. This is a right granted to all citizens by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches, or searches of a person’s property without their consent. Therefore, a person is allowed to avoid a DUI checkpoint if they want to. This is also why law enforcement agencies have to post notices about the checkpoint before it occurs, thereby allowing people to opt-out of the checkpoint by driving a different route.
While DUI checkpoints can be annoying for people who have not been drinking, they do help keep roads safe. They locate drunk drivers and remove them from the road. This keeps everyone else safe, which makes the occasional slow down worth it.