What you should know about DUI Checkpoints:
DUI Checkpoints are roadblocks set up by law enforcement to “police” for DUI drivers. At these checkpoints, traffic is slowed and directed into areas where police can interrogate drivers and spot DUI drivers. According to the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, DUI checkpoints are used in 38 states. In California 2500 DUI checkpoints annually are set up to look for DUI driers. (Information about DUI Checkpoints by state here.) With such a large number of DUI checkpoints in California, it can be said California is far and away the leader in DUI checkpoints.
What do police look for at DUI checkpoints?
Police at DUI Checkpoints are looking for impaired drivers.
This is accomplished through officers observing drivers, looking for telltale symptoms of alcohol intoxication:
-Odor of Alcohol on breath
What happens at a DUI Checkpoint?
DUI Checkpoints are roadblocks, set up on public roads to stop all cars so that police officers can determine whether the drivers are impaired from alcohol or drugs. Under California law, DUI checkpoints must have an alternate route around them so that a driver who approaches a DUI checkpoint has the ability to “opt-out” of the checkpoint and drive around it without going through.
After this last chance escape route, traffic is slowed and routed into either a single or double lane, with police officers stationed at a “stop” sign where they ask the drivers to roll down their windows and answer a series of questions.
Officers ask drivers for their:
-Proof of Insurance
During the questioning, officers are looking for signs of impairment:
-Odor of Alcoholic beverages on the driver’s breath
If the officer determines the person isn’t impaired, they are told to exit via one of two lanes. If the officer decides there is reason to belive the person is impaired, the person is instructed to drive into another lane where their car is parked and they are told to exit the vehicle.
At this point, a standard DUI field investigation commences. The driver is subjected to a series of “field sobriety tests” and if the driver exhibits signs of alcohol impairment, they will be arrested for suspicion of DUI.