Sobriety checkpoints, commonly known as DUI checkpoints, are legal in both Kansas and Missouri. Police use these checkpoints to make random stops that are unconnected to any individual suspicions of illegal activity. Rather, police use DUI checkpoints to attempt to catch any suspicious activity or drivers who might be inebriated. Understanding your rights during DUI checkpoints is important so that you can protect your rights and avoid getting a wrongful DUI.
Are They Legal?
Yes. It’s easy to wonder why though, as police are required to have probable cause before stopping and searching any individual. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints met the standard of “reasonable search and seizure” because the government has the responsibility for the public’s safety which is, in this case, to reduce drunk driving. The CDC fully endorses this action, as they reported that sobriety checkpoints reduce DUI-related crashes by nine percent.
There are limits on the legality of DUI checkpoints. For example, in advance of setting up the checkpoint, police are required to publish the location and time of DUI checkpoints. This way, individuals have the opportunity to know whether their route will have a checkpoint. States can also elect to individually ban DUI checkpoints; only 12 states have outlawed these checkpoints, but Kansas and Missouri have upheld them.
This is not advice to “cheat the system” after a night out drinking, this is advice for those who want to get on with their night. If you wish to avoid stopping, spending time waiting in a line of cars, and being interviewed by police a DUI checkpoint, it’s possible to do so. There are a few websites that will stay up to date with the checkpoints.