The laws regarding what is required during a suspected DUI stop have changed over the years and vary from state to state. Some DUI stops will be the result of simple traffic violations while others will be because of suspected DUI violations. Though laws continue to change regarding DUI stops from state to state, most laws follow similar guidelines. In any state, getting pulled over for a DUI stop can have very significant consequences.
Around holidays when law enforcement officials are expecting a lot of drinking to accompany festivities, some local communities will put up designated DUI stops to monitor drivers on the road and help keep the public aware of the possible consequences. According to a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) official, more things like DUI stops can help prevent accidents caused by drivers under the influence. Some law enforcement officials do not like DUI stops because they are unable to make as many arrests, but the focus, according to safety groups, should be on preventing DUIs, not making the most arrests.
A study published in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention has shown DUI stops reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 20 percent on average. By having DUI stops, the idea is that officers can stop all or a certain sequence of passing vehicles to determine the sobriety of drivers. If the officer suspects during the DUI stop that the driver is impaired because of alcohol, the driver is given a field sobriety test.
Safety prevention groups hope that drivers that hear about the DUI stops are more conscious of their alcohol intake, thus reducing accidents and death, and injuries because of DUIs. Though not a lot of arrests might be made at the DUI stops, the checkpoints can help better educate the public about the dangers of driving under the influence, as well as stress the impact of what getting a DUI can do.
Some states have changed laws regarding what can occur at DUI stops. In the past, some drivers were able to refuse to take a breathalyzer, but in some states, refusal to submit to a test can result in immediate consequences. Most state laws consider a DUI when the driver’s blood alcohol content level exceeds .08 percent. Penalties for being convicted of a DUI can include license suspension or revocation, require ignition interlocks on vehicles, fines, jail time, and sobriety classes.
Convicted DUI sentences will be based on the state’s laws, previous offenses, the type of DUI conviction, and other factors. State laws are becoming much stricter in response to the high number of DUI offenses and the efforts to curb any future accidents from taking more lives and causing more injuries. Efforts like DUI spots cannot prevent all drivers from getting behind the wheel after too many drinks, but it can help to raise awareness about DUIs and remind people of the effect a poor judgment can have.