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Can you turn away from a sobriety checkpoint?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | DUI

Police usually end up placing sobriety checkpoints anywhere on the highway or on particularly busy roads with dense traffic. They may also choose to place one in areas notorious for intoxicated drivers.

Despite the fact that they can put these checkpoints wherever they want, they do not actually have the final say over whether or not people go through them.

Finding your alternative route

LifeSafer talks about approaching a sobriety checkpoint. In some states, officers actually have an obligation to give out alternative route directions for those who want to avoid going through the checkpoint. Many states require officers to give a heads up that a checkpoint is up ahead, too.

However, even in states where officers do not have to give a warning, you can still easily create your own alternative route that allows you to bypass the hurdles of the checkpoint.

Know that officers are watching

The important thing to keep in mind is that officers will be looking for people turning away from the checkpoint and automatically forming a bias about why the person might want to avoid it. They will look for reasons to pull an avoidant car over, going so far as to look for broken tail lights or expired plate stickers.

Of course, it is important to abide by the rules of the road when making an alternative route, too. This means a driver cannot go over solid lines, cut other cars off, drive aggressively, make illegal turns or U-turns, or do anything else that could normally get them pulled over. Officers can and will pull someone over for breaking the law, and this can lead to problems of its own.