What are DUI Checkpoints and what should I know about them?
DUI Checkpoints are temporary road-blocks that are set up by law enforcement agencies to detect and deter DUI driving. Typically set up in evening times during holiday, weekend or special events, DUI checkpoints are essentially traffic stops where law enforcement officers ask drivers to show license while the officers look for signs of alcohol or drug impairment.
Do I have to stop at a DUI checkpoint if I don’t want to?
DUI Checkpoints (at least in California) are required to be set up in a way that allows drivers to drive around the checkpoint if they choose to. A sign telling drivers about the DUI checkpoint, and telling the drivers an alternate route around the checkpoint, has to be set up before the checkpoint so that the driver can decide if they want to drive through the checkpoint or go around it.
Often, police or other law enforcement agencies that set up the checkpoint set up these signs in areas that are not very visible.. such as areas that are in shadows or areas not illuminated well by street lights.
It is very easy for someone driving up to the checkpoint to not notice the sign. Once the driver enters the checkpoint area, they must proceed through the checkpoint and comply with officer questions and instructions.
How effective are DUI checkpoints at catching impaired DUI drivers?
It is debatable whether DUI checkpoints are really effective at catching DUI drivers versus other enforcement efforts. First, DUI checkpoints are fixed in location, and can only impact the area they are set up in. Second, DUI checkpoints are temporary in nature, so they only can catch drivers on the days they are set up.
Los Angeles DUI Checkpoint References:
California Highway Patrol DUI Checkpoint Information
Los Angeles County Sheriff DUI Checkpoint Information