The Behan Law Group, P.L.L.C.


1-877-MISS-DUI / 1-877-647-7384

Se Habla Español
945 N. Stone Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705

DUI Checkpoint Ahead: What You Should Know

 Posted on November 12, 2021 in DUI

Pima County DUI defense lawyerHave you ever found yourself at a DUI checkpoint and wondered why the police are allowed to stop you when you did nothing wrong?  You are not alone.  In fact, many states do not allow DUI checkpoints because they violate their state constitutions.

However, the United States Supreme Court has said DUI checkpoints are constitutional.  In Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the Court considered the government’s interest in preventing alcohol related accidents, the checkpoints’ ability to achieve that goal, and the infringement on personal liberties and determined that the government’s interest was so strong that it outweighed the imposition on individuals.  Despite that statement, the Court went on to carefully curtail the scope of what the police can do at a checkpoint.

Amongst those qualifications are:

  • The checkpoints must be well-lit, have proper signage, and any police presence should be obvious;
  • There must be advance public announcement of the time and location of the checkpoints;
  • The checkpoint must have a systematic plan for its operation leaving little to no room for discretion. For example, the plan dictates that the officers only stop every fourth vehicle; and
  • The plan must be non-discriminatory. Officers may not choose to check vehicles based on the driver’s race, age, or other classification.

Even though less than 1% of drivers at checkpoints are arrested for DUI, checkpoints remain a popular tool amongst law enforcement officers in Arizona.  As we approach the holidays, police departments around the State will be setting up DUI checkpoints.

If you find yourself at a DUI checkpoint, you should stay calm and be respectful to officers.  You should provide identification, registration, and insurance if asked.  Officers will likely ask you questions while looking for signs of intoxication, but you do not have to answer any of their questions.  If an officer suspects that you have been drinking, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test.  You can refuse both tests, but there may be legal consequences, including a suspended license.  And even if you refuse testing, you can still be arrested for a DUI.

The Behan Law Group has achieved favorable outcomes for clients arrested at DUI checkpoints and we can help you too.  If you or a loved one is arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Arizona, contact us at (520) 220-5047 and let Miss DUI Arizona get the best possible outcome for your case!

Share this post:
Back to Top