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Is it illegal to avoid a sobriety checkpoint?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2023 | Drug Charges

The police may set up sobriety checkpoints for drivers to pass through in an effort to catch impaired drivers. Rather than pulling over individual cars, they just briefly stop every car that goes through the checkpoint. Drivers identify themselves and some may get stopped for a longer search, while most are allowed to continue.

If you find yourself driving toward a sobriety checkpoint, though, you may not want to go through it. This doesn’t mean that you are impaired, but you may just not want to deal with the police. Could you avoid the checkpoint intentionally, or would that be legal?

You do not have to enter the checkpoint

You can avoid the checkpoint, but be careful about how you do it. The trouble that some drivers face is that they wind up breaking traffic laws trying to avoid the checkpoint. This makes them appear guilty to the police officers at that checkpoint, and it gives them justification to pull over the car.

An example of this could be if you pulled an illegal U-turn in the middle of the road and started driving in the other direction. You’re not breaking the law by refusing to go through the checkpoint, but you are breaking the law by committing the illegal U-turn. This could lead to a ticket, but it is also likely to lead to a traffic stop that may include field sobriety tests or portable breath tests if the police believe that you are impaired – and that your impairment is why you didn’t want to go through the checkpoint in the first place.

If you’ve been arrested, it’s time to start looking into your criminal defense options. This type of arrest can have a major impact on your future and you need to know what steps to take.