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What You Need To Know About DUI Checkpoints!

What You Need To Know About DUI Checkpoints!

As the holidays come to an end, and our christmas debt is almost completely diminished from loyal monthly payments, we turn our attention and daydreams to our upcoming vacations, after all spring break is only right around the corner .  For many of us, our spring and summer vacations will be spent on the road, traveling by fuel-efficient cars, mini vans, and RVs.  Taking a road trip from one state to another hoping to be the first individual to spot a native animal from the fogged up windows while heading towards our classic tourist site destination, such as Old Faithful.

Savvy road travelers beware… you may be driving in a state that utilizes DUI checkpoints!

Imagine you are on your road trip wandering through California and you stop at a local vineyard in Napa Valley to enjoy a beautiful lunch and a robust glass of wine, when in Rome, you roam!  Now imagine getting into your Prius with your significant other and continuing on your drive towards the California Redwoods National Park on a mission to view some of the world’s largest trees.  Sounds nice, right?  Now imagine you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint.  Not so nice!  Actually a huge buzz kill, and now you are facing the possibility of being charged with a DUI  (driving under the influence) in a state that you are not even a resident in.

Currently 38 states conduct DUI checkpoints, which are also known as “sobriety checkpoints.”  Thus if driving across the country, the chance of driving through a state that uses DUI checkpoints is high.  What is a DUI checkpoint?  A DUI checkpoint is a blockade set up along a road where law enforcement officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment.  Many jurisdictions utilize sobriety checkpoints as part of their larger drunk driving deterrence program.

By no means should DUI checkpoints detour us adventure seekers from hitting the roads, but it is in our best interests to know which states conduct DUI checkpoints so there are no surprises!

Road travelers… here is a list of States and areas that DO USE DUI checkpoints according to the Governors Highway Safety Association;  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Georgia,  Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New  Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Road travelers… here is a list of safe states that DO NOT USE DUI checkpoints;  Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Enjoy your road trip travels and call David O Defense to speak with a DUI defense attorney if you have any further legal questions about DUI checkpoints, 206-459-6392.


Written by S.O

Washington State Lawmakers Push For DUI Check Points

Washington State Lawmakers Push For DUI Check Points

DUI News – State lawmakers and advocates are at it again, trying to change the law and amend the constitution to legalize random DUI check points here in Washington State.  The legalization of DUI check points would allow law enforcement to stop vehicles without legal cause and investigate individuals for possible driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  Why try again?  Supporters of DUI check points are convinced individuals will think twice about drunk driving knowing they could be stopped at a DUI sobriety check point and thus drunk driving would decrease.

Democratic State Representative Roger Goodman, of Kirkland, appears to be a supporting forefront voice on the controversial issue saying, “We’ve made a lot of progress in enacting DUI laws, but there’s one missing piece and that’s the sobriety checkpoints, which have been shown to reduce deaths by 25 to 30 percent in other states that have them.”  According to Goodman, 38 states nationwide and the District of Columbia currently have similar DUI check point laws in place.

Goodman, other lawmakers, MADD, and advocates for victims and survivors of drunk driving accidents have banded together knowing they have an extremely tough uphill battle to try to pass random DUI check points into law.  Past attempts to move DUI check points into law have all failed due to Washington State’s constitution having very strict privacy laws.  A report produced by the lawmakers and advocates will likely be handed over to state officials on December 4th to continue their push forward for DUI check points.

Those opposing DUI check points are not lying low, they are loudly voicing violations of State and Federal constitutional rights.  Many are saying Washington State is unique for having strict privacy laws and it should stay that way.  Doug Honig with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Washington State, shared his stance saying, “In our society, if you’re out and about on the highway and you aren’t doing anything wrong, law enforcement shouldn’t be stopping you.”  He continued, “It’s a matter of general freedom in our society.”

This issue of legalizing DUI check points is difficult, on one hand we want to keep all people safe, on the other hand it would cost the right to privacy while driving.  When it comes to civil liberties I think it is wise to remember the old saying, “If you give them an inch, they will take a mile.”  Meaning, if we give up our right to privacy while driving and allow police officers to investigate anyone for possible DUI what will come next… allowing random searches of vehicles… or allowing law enforcement to enter homes without cause or warrant?  The more we allow law enforcement to encroach on our daily lives, the less freedom we truly have.

The information above was derived from the article Sobering idea?  State floats idea of random DUI check points, written by Lindsay Cohen, Nov. 6th 2013 and can be found on


Written by S.O