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Sobriety checkpoints have to meet certain requirements

New Year's Eve and the upcoming weekend are big days and nights for parties in the area. If you plan on partying, you should make sure that you have a way to get home so that you don't get caught up in a sobriety checkpoint.

Sobriety checkpoints are legal in New York. There are a few points that you should know about sobriety checkpoints. These checkpoints are established at predetermined locations. A plan is made for the checkpoint. That plan details which cars will be stopped. That is, the officers might stop every other car or every fifth car to find out if the driver is impaired.

When a driver is chosen for a sobriety checkpoint, the officers must make contact with the driver. The officers can't require that every driver takes a breath test. Instead, they can only request a breath test from drivers who show signs of impairment. There must be a reasonable suspicion for the officer to request a breath test.

In New York, if you don't submit to a breath test, you can face certain penalties. With that in mind, you should make sure that you fully understand your rights and the penalties before you head out to any parties over this long holiday weekend.

If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and have a high blood alcohol concentration, you might be arrested. It is critical that you understand your rights if you are arrested so you can ensure they are respected.

If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, investigating the legality of the checkpoint is one possible avenue to explore for your defense. If the sobriety checkpoint wasn't legal, you might be able to use that as a component of your defense strategy.

Source: AAA, "Sobriety Checkpoints," accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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