As winter gets more intense and the holidays approach, the police in New York have decided to take a stand against drinking and driving by increasing the number of sobriety checkpoints throughout the state.
On the whole, these sobriety checkpoints are legal, and they allow officers to stop all drivers in an area. They can speak with drivers and watch for signs of intoxication, hopefully helping get dangerous drivers off the roads.
However, as someone who may have had a drink but who is still driving safely, this can be a major inconvenience. The officer might ask you to take sobriety tests or a breath test despite witnessing no legitimate mistakes in your driving. (That’s why some people argue that these checkpoints should not be legal.)
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is a national campaign that runs each year from the week prior to Christmas through New Year’s Day. In 2017, 645 people ended up being charged with DUIs during this crackdown. On top of that, police issued a shocking 40,489 tickets.
What should you do if you see a sobriety checkpoint?
Once you see it, it’s likely that you’ll need to go through the checkpoint. There is a risk that those who try to “get out of line” may end up pulled over by other officers who are on side streets or waiting for people who want to avoid the checkpoint. It’s best to consult with someone who knows your rights if this happens, since you are in immediate legal danger at that point of a drunk driving charge if you have been drinking.