Sobriety checkpoints are legal and used in Missouri. The reasoning behind this is that it could be possible to use these checkpoints to reduce DWIs in high-risk areas and to lower the risk of collisions on high-traffic holidays. While the Fourth Amendment does protect you against unreasonable traffic stops, searches and seizures, it does not prevent sobriety checkpoints.
The unique fact about Missouri’s checkpoints is that they do have to be made public before they occur. However, the police or other authorities do not need to give the exact location.
What will it look like if a sobriety checkpoint is coming up?
If there is one ahead of you on the road, the police may set out a number of signs or notifications on that route. These signs will state that there is an alcohol testing site ahead and that the drivers who go that direction should prepare for getting stopped. Not everyone will have to perform field sobriety tests or take Breathalyzer tests, but people should expect to be asked to speak with the police.
During the stop, you may be asked for your license and registration. The officer might talk to you for a few minutes to see if you are behaving normally or slurring your words. If you don’t show signs of intoxicated or impairment, you will normally be able to pass without further testing.
Can you go around a sobriety checkpoint?
Yes, you can, usually. However, by the time you’re seeing signs for it, you may think that it is obvious that you’re trying to avoid going through the checkpoint. In some cases, checkpoints are set up on stretches of roads where you can’t turn around, limiting your options if you don’t want to go through them.
What do you do if you fail a test at a sobriety checkpoint?
If you fail the testing at one of these checkpoints, you need to look into building a defense. It is possible to fight back against a DWI and argue against the penalties that you could face if you are convicted of driving while drunk or impaired.