The last thing you want to see on the road ahead is a sobriety checkpoint. Even if you have not been drinking, it can be a stressful process. Here are three important details to understand regarding these checkpoints.
1. The police must follow the rules
As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, the police must follow strict rules in many situations. Sobriety checkpoints are no exception. North Carolina law requires them to:
- Place checkpoints randomly, though they can be informed by drunk driving statistics
- Warn drivers of a checkpoint ahead
- Follow set policies or procedures they established ahead of time
It is critical for drivers to understand the rules of a sobriety checkpoint as well. Then they will know what to expect, and understand if the police do not follow the rules.
2. You can turn around
It is not against the law for you to turn around if you see a sign warning you of a checkpoint ahead. However, you must take extra care to:
- Do so safely
- Avoid violating traffic laws
An illegal turn can give the police reason to pull you over – even outside of the checkpoint. So, while it is in your power to turn around, you must be aware of and avoid the risks involved.
3. Be prepared for an increase
Historically, the number of checkpoints increases during the summer and around the holidays. This is because people are likely to drink in these situations. In turn, the risk of drunk driving increases. Law enforcement often increases the number of checkpoints to counter that.
With Memorial Day barbecues and Fourth of July celebrations just around the corner, it is likely you will see more sobriety checkpoints arise across the state. You must be prepared, so you can protect yourself against the risk of potential DWI charges.