Sobriety checkpoints are a controversial tool that police departments use to combat drunk driving. They require drivers to stop even without reasonable suspicion. However, courts have generally upheld the fact that these are legal, citing an emphasis on road safety, even if it is a slight inconvenience to drivers.
That being said, there are still those who want to avoid sobriety checkpoints at all times. Even if you’re completely sober, you may just not want to go through to give the police a chance to talk to you and try to find a reason to make an arrest. So you may find yourself wondering if it’s legal to simply turn around and drive away from the checkpoint.
How will you accomplish it?
It is legal to drive away from a sobriety checkpoint. There’s nothing saying you have to continue on, and you could simply take the next right turn and drive down a side street. This is not illegal and you can’t be arrested simply for doing this on its own.
The thing to remember, though, is that turning around to drive away from a checkpoint is probably going to make the police believe that you have something to hide. As such, they will look for small mistakes that you might make during this turn that would justify a traffic stop.
For example, imagine you are driving down a two-way street when you approach a checkpoint. A U-turn is not allowed at that point on the street, as it could cause a car accident. If you make a right turn and just drive down the side street, this is not illegal and you should not be pulled over. But if you perform an illegal U-turn and start driving in the other direction, then you can certainly still be pulled over and the police may want to give you a breath test or make you perform field sobriety tests.
Have you been arrested?
If you do find yourself facing serious charges, then it’s quite important to know about all of your legal options.