5 Things to Know About Summertime Sobriety Checkpoints

by Attorney David Michael Cantor, The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor, Arizona

Summertime is in full swing as we move past the 4th of July holiday and find ourselves in the dog days of summer. Many people are traveling to and from lakes, friendly gatherings and backyard barbecues. With these celebrations, some people will choose to partake in an alcoholic beverage or two. When you choose to do so, it’s recommended that you either have a designated driver who is not drinking or you simply don’t drive.

Police departments and highway patrols across the nation know that as the temperature heats up, so does the opportunity for drunk drivers—and the chance to keep all drivers safe. Keep reading for 5 things you should know as you head out the door—whether you are drinking or not. Chances are good that this summer you’ll be part of a checkpoint.

    1. Checkpoints are posted in advance. Law enforcement entities will post and/or announce in advance that checkpoints are occurring and at what locations. Doing so allows the government to subject citizens to field sobriety tests. In order to be prepared, check the route you plan to take and look for posted signs, check local newspapers and online searches.
    2. Timing is key. Checkpoints usually take place very late at night or during the early morning hours on weekends; this is when the number of impaired drivers is the highest. So, if you’re tired, but not impaired, this may be enough reason for the police to test you. Get your rest or stay off the roads.
    3. Field tests are not “pass” or “fail.” These tests only exist to aid the officer in making an arrest/no arrest decision.  Prior to completing these tests, always ask to speak with an attorney to determine if your performance on these tests is required in your state.    
    4. Checkpoints do more than catch drunk drivers. Sobriety checkpoints have been proven successful in cutting down on the amount of drunk or drugged drivers; however, did you know they also apprehend individuals who are wanted by the police? This helps catch those who have committed other crimes such as vehicle inspection and registration violations or driving without a license, as well as criminals who may be on the run.
    5. Know when to contact a lawyer. If you find yourself at a sobriety checkpoint and are asked to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, ask to speak to a lawyer before the tests are administered. You should also invoke your right to remain silent, but remain courteous. It’s good practice to have the phone number of a DUI lawyer in your wallet before you go out. Don’t plan to drink and drive, but be prepared.

David Michael Cantor is a DUI Attorney in Scottsdale Arizona at The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor. He is a Certified Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®.

5 Things to Know About Summertime Sobriety Checkpoints