OVI or DUI checkpoints are a legal method of catching and preventing drunk driving. Also known as sobriety checkpoints, checkpoints are planned roadblocks so that a police officer can randomly check for drunk drivers.
As part of this, you might see barricades or traffic cones in certain areas so that law enforcement can stop vehicles, question every driver, or pick and choose randomly. Officers might ask questions, and if they suspect impaired driving, they can legally conduct a field sobriety test.
You can search for DUI checkpoints in the Ohio area by searching for “DUI checkpoint” or “sobriety checkpoint” using your preferred search methods, such as Google or Yahoo.
Are OVI Checkpoints Legal?
OVI checkpoints must follow state guidelines and federal law. First, law enforcement cannot legally “trick” anyone into submitting to an OVI checkpoint. As such, to be legal, checkpoints must include the following:
- Time and location must be made public in advance
- The checkpoint should be visible from a distance, so drivers have time to stop
- The presence of police must be obvious
- Officers manning the checkpoint should be trained in OVI detection
- The site of the OVI checkpoint should be chosen for public safety
- The checkpoint should not be overly burdensome to drivers or disrupt other drivers on the road
Do I Have to Participate in a Field Sobriety Test?
Legally speaking, you do not have to participate in an OVI checkpoint or a field sobriety test if a police officer believes you have been drinking and driving. However, you cannot resist a chemical test if a police officer asks that you get out of the car. This could be considered resisting arrest and could result in additional charges on top of your DUI.
At the same time, if you choose not to participate in a field sobriety test, you will risk immediate suspension of your license.
If you have been charged with a DUI and declined a chemical test, there might be less information to use against you in a conviction. Our law firm can help you petition for an interim driver’s license, represent you in your DUI case, and work to get a lesser sentence or dropped charges altogether without any evidence to hold against you.
Am I Required to Go Through a Checkpoint?
In Ohio, you are not legally obligated to participate in a checkpoint. If an OVI checkpoint follows the guidelines, you will know if you are about to drive through one and will have an opportunity to participate, decline, and turn around.
You cannot violate any other traffic laws to avoid a traffic checkpoint. For instance, you cannot make an illegal U-turn or cause any further disruption on the road that might impact other drivers.
Law enforcement must always follow proper protocol when using OVI checkpoints and making arrests if impaired driving is evident. Contact our legal team to discuss your charges and possible legal solutions if you have been charged with a DUI due to an OVI checkpoint and need legal representation.