What You Need To Know About Thanksgiving DUI Checkpoints – Guest Post

DUI Checkpoint


You know that the holiday season has started when you see people rushing to celebrate Thanksgiving, which happens every fourth Thursday of November. This federal holiday is marked by a special dinner consisting of turkey and cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and mashed potatoes.

Since Thanksgiving is also time for family get-togethers and friends’ reunions, celebrating with alcohol is a popular practice. Everybody’s happy and grateful, and when it’s time to leave, practically everyone is in high spirits. Many also drive home intoxicated, and this is the reason why authorities regularly put up DUI checkpoints throughout the holidays, starting on Thanksgiving and ending after New Year’s Day.

If you’re planning to travel this Thanksgiving to celebrate with family and friends, it’s essential to learn everything you can about DUI checkpoints. What are you supposed to do at a checkpoint? Will there be field sobriety tests? Are there guidelines to follow? Knowing the answers to these questions will keep you away from trouble and the need to hire a DUI defense attorney.

Thanksgiving DUI Checkpoints Guide

DUI checkpoints are legal in almost all states in the U.S. The U.S. Supreme Court believes that driving under the influence poses a significant risk to everyone on the road. As such, they made an exception to the probable cause or reasonable suspicion requirement for the police to set up a checkpoint. However, authorities are to announce DUI checkpoints ahead of time, so drivers and vehicle owners are properly informed. Failure to follow the said rule automatically invalidates the checkpoint.

Here are other facts you need to know about Thanksgiving DUI checkpoints:

Running away from a checkpoint can lead to serious penalties.

If a police officer asks you to stop at a checkpoint, obey and pull over right away. Stay calm and act as naturally as possible. Do not attempt to drive away as doing so will only lead to serious penalties and consequences.

Being stopped at a DUI checkpoint does not mean you are suspected of driving while intoxicated. The police simply want to do a checkup to ensure that you’re driving safely and won’t cause harm to yourself and others on the road (including your passenger/s).

Turning away from a checkpoint is legal but difficult.

While it is legal to turn away from a checkpoint or get out of the line, the police can still pull you over. Also, most checkpoint setups make it difficult for drivers to turn around or make a U-turn. The authorities manning the roadblock always look out for cars that divert from the line.

The best thing to do is to check DUI checkpoint schedules, especially when the holiday season starts. This information is easy to access through state police websites.

You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or field sobriety test.

Field sobriety and breathalyzer tests are voluntary, so you have the right to refuse to go through any of these. However, in some states, you can be arrested for not agreeing to do the tests.

If you submit yourself to any of these tests and you fail, the police can arrest you.

Pay attention to the police and be cooperative.

Once you’ve pulled over, the police will ask for your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and proof of insurance. Don’t try to argue with him; cooperate and provide the items he’s asking for. These documents prove that you own the vehicle you are driving, that you are legally registered, and are insured.

If the police officer asks you to step out of your car, do as you are told and follow instructions.

You can refuse to answer questions from the police.

The police officer who pulled you over will ask several questions, but you can choose to refuse to answer them. Of course, it’s okay to provide basic information such as your destination and where you came from, but it’s better to offer as minimal information as possible. Some drivers prefer not to answer questions as doing so can lead to an unnecessary confrontation that may incriminate you.

You have the right to refuse a search.

Sometimes, the police officer will ask to perform a search of your vehicle. It’s all right for you to refuse, especially if there is no legal reason for the search.

Get in touch with your DUI lawyer right away.

If you want to ensure that legal protocols are followed and that you won’t be incriminated for something you are not guilty of, call your DUI lawyer as soon as you can. Your attorney will help make sure that your rights are protected.

How to Avoid a Thanksgiving DUI Checkpoint?

The best way to prevent a DUI checkpoint is to know what to avoid doing if you know you’re driving this Thanksgiving Day.

– If you are the designated driver, don’t drink alcohol during the party or celebration. If you really want to, ensure that your alcohol level does not go over the normal BAC of 0.08%. You can also ask someone who does not drink alcohol to take over the driving duties for you.

– Choosing an alternative means of transportation is another option if you want to drink alcohol during the party. You can call an Uber or taxi or ask someone to pick you up.

– Remember that even if you are only a passenger, you can also get implicated if the vehicle’s driver is intoxicated. So, do not ride with someone who had more than the normal alcohol level during the party.

– It is also your responsibility to ensure that your family and friends do not drive when they have been drinking. Additionally, if you know someone who is intoxicated and driving, get in touch with the authorities.

– Walking home while intoxicated is also risky, so if you plan to do this, ask a family member or a friend who is sober to walk with you.

– Lastly, even if you had only a few sips of alcohol, it is better to avoid getting behind the wheel. There is a thin line between buzzed driving and drunk driving, so even if your alcohol is below 0.08%, the possibility of getting in an accident is high.

If you’re planning to party this Thanksgiving, pay attention to the information and tips mentioned above. Get in touch with your DUI lawyer if you need more details about DUI checkpoints.

Victoria Brown currently works as the Marketing and Communications Specialist at Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan. Her experiences with DUI cases in the past have inspired her to spread awareness about DUI laws in the United States.

Comments are closed for this post.