DUI checkpoints can be a pesky stop on the road, but their purpose is to keep everyone out there safe. The team at Bad Boys Bail Bonds is here to help you understand these checkpoints and what you should do if you’re ever stopped at one.
What Defines a DUI Checkpoint?
DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints, are blockades set up by local law enforcement for the purpose of interviewing drivers to find those under the influence. Police officers usually park their vehicles, lights flashing, on one or both sides of the road while they stand in the street and flag down vehicles. These officers look for signs of intoxication in drivers, only using a breath test on those they have sufficient evidence to test. DUI checkpoints are usually set up during times that drunk driving incidences increase, such as on holiday evenings or weekends. Not all states allow law enforcement to do DUI checkpoints, but they are permitted in Utah. Here, they are sometimes called roadblocks or mobile checkpoints.
What Makes a Checkpoint Legal?
As a Utah citizen, you should know the laws about DUI checkpoints. Some might surprise you.
- DUI checkpoints follow a neutral formula. A “neutral formula” means that officers must follow the same protocol for every vehicle. They can’t dismiss you because you obviously haven’t been drinking, and they can’t jump to conclusions because you look especially drunk. However, once they follow protocol and establish reasonable evidence for intoxication, they may ask you to pull over for a breath test.
- DUI checkpoints have to be clearly marked for safety. To prevent collisions from drivers surprised by police officers popping up (especially at night), DUI checkpoints must be clearly marked. This includes correct lighting, signals, warning signs, and clearly marked police vehicles and personnel.
- Officers must identify themselves. Speaking of personnel being clearly marked, police officers must identify themselves at DUI checkpoints. They should wear both their uniforms and any necessary reflective gear for being spotted in the dark. This means that a DUI checkpoint shouldn’t be confused with a speed trap, where officers tend to cloak their vehicles until they identify a law breaker.
- You can be investigated for DUI at non-DUI checkpoints. Although DUI checkpoints are not allowed in every state, other type of checkpoints are, like ones ensuring motorists have their license and insurance. The kicker is that even if you are at a non-DUI checkpoint, if an officer has reason to suspect you of driving under the influence, you can still be tested for sobriety.
- Every state has its own set of standards. The decision to allow DUI checkpoints or not is up to each individual state. This means that while you may be subject to a DUI checkpoint in Utah, you may not have to go through such a checkpoint if you live in a different state. This also means that the standards for each state’s checkpoints are different, so it helps to do a little research if you travel out of your state.
How Bad Boys Bail Bonds Can Help
If you ever get charged with DUI at a DUI checkpoint, Bad Boys Bail Bonds is here for you. We can assist you in making bail, but we can also do so much more—like help you build a case. Our rates are honest and fair, so find us next time you need bail assistance at 801-895-4014, or request bail here.