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Can you turn away from a sobriety checkpoint?

In most cases, the police will arrest drunk drivers after a traffic stop. An officer may see someone run a stop sign, for example, and assume that they did it because they are impaired. The officer then pulls the driver over and gives them a breath test before making an arrest.

But in other cases, the police will simply set up a sobriety checkpoint or a DUI checkpoint. When drivers pass through the checkpoint, they briefly communicate with the officers and identify themselves. If the officers believe some of these drivers are impaired, they pull them over for further inspection.

As such, you may find yourself driving toward one of these sobriety checkpoints when you decide that you don’t want to encounter the police. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are impaired. If you turn on a side street or turn around to avoid the checkpoint, are they going to arrest you?

All driving maneuvers must be legal

The police can’t arrest you for avoiding the checkpoint itself. You don’t have to drive through it and you can turn down another street or drive in another direction. They can’t force you through the checkpoint because you haven’t actually committed any driving infractions.

But the important thing to remember is that you have to follow all driving laws and make legal maneuvers when avoiding that checkpoint. For example, if you just executed an illegal turn in the middle of the street, the police could pull you over for that illegal U-turn. They may also believe you are impaired, leading to an arrest.

As you can see, things can get complex any time you encounter police officers. If you face arrest, be sure you know what defense options you have.