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Is it legal to setup a DUI checkpoint?

Law enforcement agencies throughout the country have a variety of tools to detect drunk drivers. For example, checkpoints are often used, especially during the holidays, to pinpoint drunk drivers and subsequently remove them from the road.

There are many questions regarding the legality of DUI checkpoints. The reason for this is simple: People who have not been drinking and driving can be arrested.

Regardless of how you may feel about these checkpoints, the Supreme Court decided in 1990 that they are indeed legal. For this reason, drivers need to know their rights as well as the steps to take if they find themselves in line at a checkpoint.

Just because you are sober does not mean you are completely safe. Police could still search your vehicle and treat you poorly.

Conversely, if you have been drinking, there is a good chance you will be subjected to a field sobriety test. At that point, you have the right to decide against this if you feel it is in your best interest.

It is legal for local law enforcement agencies to set up DUI checkpoints. On the flip side, this does not give them the power to do whatever they want, such as searching every vehicle that comes through the checkpoint.

As a driver, sober or not, you should understand what to expect if you make your way to a checkpoint. The more you know the easier it is to deal with police in the appropriate manner. You have a variety of rights, all of which should be protected during this time.

Source: FindLaw, "Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?," accessed Dec. 07, 2015

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