While driving, you might see a flashing light and probably a stop sign where it’s not supposed to be. Congratulations, you are a few meters at a DUI checkpoint. The Nevada law allows the police to set different checkpoints to look for drivers who are drunk, enforce the law, and when necessary, hand out traffic tickets. Even if you are stone-cold sober, sometimes a sobriety checkpoint can be a stressful experience.
What are DUI checkpoints?
This a type of checkpoint where the law enforcement officers stop all the passing vehicles to check for drunk driving. These officers set temporary roadblocks and stop signs to get a chance to speak to each driver or every vehicle. They can ask each driver simples questions while checking for symptoms of intoxication like an open alcohol container, slurred speech, or the smell of alcohol. If you show any signs of intoxication, the officer(s) may investigate their suspicion of drunk driving. In such an event, it’s critical that you get in touch with a qualified DUI lawyer in Las Vegas for legal counsel.
Nevada law 484B.570 explains the rules for all roadblocks set in the state. Thus, all roadblocks are lawful if the police officers follow the law. They should make the roadblock visible from about 100 yards in either direction and a visible stop sign from 50 yards away from the roadblock. Besides, there must be a warning sign that is at least 700 feet way in an urban area and a quarter mile away in a rural region.
Roadblocks are constitutional too
The US Supreme Court says that all roadblocks are constitutional if they are conducted according to the law. In a 1990 case that involved the Michigan Department State of police Vs. Sitz, the United States Supreme Court offers all drunk driving roadblocks the green light as long as the law enforcement officers don’t conduct the roadblocks in a discriminatory manner.
According to the court, roadblocks may cause minimal delays, but they have a huge potential to save lives. Besides, the court noted that any form of intrusion for a driver beyond the recommended questions could get greater scrutiny under the Fourth Amendment protections from any unlawful search and seizure.
What if I don’t stop at the DUI checkpoint?
Well, if you don’t stop at the checkpoint, the law allows the officers to arrest you. According to Nevada law 484B.580, it is unlawful to proceed through any DUI checkpoint without stopping. Even when no one gets injured, traveling through a roadblock without stopping is a gross misdemeanor. In case someone gets injured, or you cause property damage, you will be arrested and charged with a category B misdemeanor. This is an offense punishable by a maximum of 6 years in prison.
If you get arrested at a DUI roadblock, you have been charged with failure to stop at a DUI roadblock, or you caused a crash because of drunk driving, you will need a reliable lawyer.