Perhaps you saw a news update informing the locals about sobriety checkpoint locations. You may have seen such checkpoints on your way home from work or eating out. The season of holiday parties and having drinks with friends is underway, and law enforcement in Ohio is preparing to stop drunk drivers before they cause accidents. You may want to learn about the occasionally controversial topic of sobriety checkpoints.
As FindLaw explains, sobriety checkpoints are places law enforcement designate for stopping drivers and looking for signs of intoxicated driving. To avoid profiling or singling out drivers, officers will stop vehicles driving through a checkpoint in a predetermined order – every fifth vehicle, for example. If you are one of those picked out at a checkpoint, you may be interviewed by an officer about your activities over the previous few hours and asked to perform a field sobriety test.
As you may know, it is possible to get a DUI despite being sober or only having one drink and not being legally intoxicated. Can you do anything to avoid a checkpoint without repercussions? It helps to know ahead of time where sobriety checkpoints will be held in your area. If you see one while driving, you may turn onto a different street or make a lawful U-turn. You should not make erratic or illegal movements to avoid encountering a checkpoint, however, or you may be pulled over. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, it is recommended that you cooperate with the officer and avoid arguing or refusing to submit to a field sobriety test. Your vehicle may be searched, you may be issued a ticket or you could be arrested if an officer believes you are being confrontational or uncooperative.
Sobriety checkpoints are not legal in every state, since some jurisdictions have determined they unfairly target sober drivers or infringe on their privacy rights. If you are arrested or ticketed, you have the right to a competent defense. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.