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Can You Turn Away from a Sobriety Checkpoint?


Sobriety checkpoints are strategic roadblocks enforced and set up by a DUI task force in Arizona to ensure all motorists passing through are not driving under the influence. Many Arizona residents feel these checkpoints infringe on their constitutional rights to privacy. However, the United States Supreme Court and Arizona Supreme Court have both found DUI checkpoints to be constitutional, though no official Arizona laws have been written about it. Charlie Naegle, the DUI lawyer Mesa AZ depends on, gives helpful legal advice on going through or turning away from sobriety checkpoints here.


To ensure that sobriety checkpoints remain constitutional, certain coalitions have laid out key mandates for these checkpoints. Some of these mandates include:

  • Objectively selecting a place to hold the checkpoint based on relevant information rather than personal bias
  • Placing appropriate traffic signs, cones, and warnings in plain view to prevent accidents and promote the safety of all motorists
  • Conducting a checkpoint strategically and systematically for fair and accurate results (example: stopping ever third car that passes through)
  • Informing the public that a sobriety checkpoint will be in place at least one day ahead of time. (Location does not have to be disclosed in most areas)

While an officer is legally allowed to stop your vehicle without reasonable suspicion at a sobriety checkpoint, drivers are not required to interact with the officer. If an officer has no cause for suspicion, and you do not wish to roll down your window to speak with him/her, a police officer cannot legally take action against you. However, such behavior may be cause for reasonable suspicion and you may be subjected to closer investigation. Be careful not to do or say anything that may put you at risk of receiving penalties for Disorderly Conduct.

Turning Away

If the sobriety checkpoint is set up properly, you should be able to see it coming as you approach. If there is a place to turn around before you reach the checkpoint, it is perfectly legal to do so, so long as you do not break any traffic laws in the process.

The DUI Lawyer Mesa AZ Trusts

Charlie Naegle is an experienced DUI attorney who has been serving the Mesa and Gilbert community for many years. He is dedicated to defending your rights and will work aggressively do give you the representation you need. For a free consultation, contact the Crider Law Firm today at (480) 378-9000.

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