Avoiding DUI Checkpoints: Your Rights
You do not have to drive through a DUI checkpoint. If you know police will be conducting random stops along your usual route, take a different road. If you spot a roadblock in time, turn around.
Avoiding a DUI checkpoint really is that simple, but you either need to plan ahead or act quickly and responsibly.
Watch for Checkpoint Announcements
Ohio law permits police to set up a DUI checkpoint as long as the location, date, and hours of operation are made known to the public beforehand. Local newspapers and television stations often alert people to where and when checkpoints will be. You can also search online using a term like “DUI checkpoints in Columbus, Ohio” to learn where and when enhanced DUI enforcement will occur.
Be Ready to Change Course
Once in place, DUI checkpoints are highly visible—multiple cruiser with their flashers going, floodlights, traffic cones, a line of vehicles waiting to be pulled over or waved through. If you spot the circus in time, you can turn onto a side street or pull over. Keep in mind that the closer you get, the more likely it is that an officer will see you and become suspicious. Committing any traffic violations in order to get out of the area will further increase your risk of being followed and pulled over. An illegal U-turn or refusal to obey a law enforcement official’s request to slow down and show your license and registration will get you in trouble even if you have not been drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Protect Your Privacy and Avoid Baseless Suspicion
The whole idea behind checkpoints is to check for violations such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) or operating without a valid license. Police cannot chase you down specifically to make you go through a DUI checkpoint because doing so would violate your right to privacy. They have no probable cause to suspect you of OVI. That requirement is waived to a certain degree when you enter a DUI checkpoint voluntary. Protect your privacy and prevent other legal problems by avoiding the checkpoint altogether.
An attorney with The Maher Law Firm can answer all of your questions about Columbus, Ohio, DUI checkpoints and can help you with your OVI/DUI defense. To schedule a no-cost consultation, call (614) 205-2208 or contact us online.