To find DUI checkpoints, drivers should be aware that they are generally set up by police along frequently traveled highways, busy intersections and in heavily populated neighborhoods or apartment complexes. They are particularly used during holidays known for alcohol abuse, such as July 4th and Memorial Day, states FindLaw.
Sobriety checkpoints are random stops performed to detect indications of intoxication. They are often recognized by the presence of orange cones and 3 to 4 police cruisers, notes DUICheckpoints.org. Checkpoints can be set up virtually anywhere across the nation without advance warning, explains AlertMedia.
The initial request when stopped at a DUI checkpoint is for the driver to take a portable breath test to determine if the driver is over the legal blood alcohol limit, according to DUICheckpoints.com. The police officers looks for bloodshot eyes and slurred speech to indicate whether or not the driver has been drinking. An officer may also look through car windows for open bottles or illegal substances.
If the driver fails these tests, he is usually asked to exit the vehicle, where further tests are conducted. The argument that checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution was voted down by the Supreme Court in 1990, citing public safety risks as being more important, explains AlertMedia. However, many states consider checkpoints unconstitutional, including Michigan, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming.