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What You Should Know About DWI Checkpoints

Posted by Tilem & Associates, PC || 2-Jan-2017

Whether you’ve seen them in the movies, on TV shows or heard about them from your friends, sobriety checkpoints are legal in New York. Though they might go by other names such as roadblocks or mobile checkpoints, they serve the same purpose, which is to locate inebriated drivers and remove them from the road. By setting up checkpoints, local White Plains police departments increase overall visibility of drunk driving enforcement efforts. This visibility alone can significantly decrease drunk driving in local communities. In fact, studies from the NHSTA have revealed roadblocks can prevent 1 in 10 DWI fatalities.

What happens during a DWI Checkpoint?

When local police set up a roadblock in your area, drivers will be detained for a short period of time by police trained to detect signs of inebriation. If a driver demonstrates signs they are intoxicated, the police will use this as probable cause for a chemical test. If the driver fails that test, they will be arrested and charged with DWI.

Do police need probable cause to stop drivers on the road?

Generally, police need probable cause to stop drivers on the road. However, according to a Supreme Court ruling, if the driver is stopped due to suspicions of DWI, police can make an exception to needing probable cause.

What are the signs of visible intoxication?

Visible signs of intoxication can vary from person to person. If someone shows one or two of these signs, it may not mean they are intoxicated, but if they display a combination of these signs, or if they suddenly and erratically change their behavior it could mean they are drunk.

Audible clues from their speech:

  • Rambling
  • Repeating the same story
  • Slurred speech
  • Speaking too loud then too quietly

Behavioral signs:

  • Swaying back and forth
  • Stumbling
  • Fidgeting
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Clumsiness

If you were arrested at a DWI checkpoint in New York, contact our White Plains DWI lawyer for help with your case.