DUI checkpoints occur when officers set up on a roadway and stop all vehicles coming through the area to check for drunk drivers. In comparison to normal traffic stops, the checkpoint will allow them to check every vehicle traveling on the road.
There are some concerns about checkpoints, so the law has specific standards officers must follow to set them up and operate them. Following the rules ensures the legality and safety of the mission.
Fairfax County explains the selection of the checkpoint site is by the Operations Support Bureau or a first-line supervisor with approval. This is essential. An officer cannot set up a checkpoint on his or her own. Any site used must be safe and provide enough space for officers to work. It also must allow for the posting of signage and warning.
Officers must be in full uniform at the checkpoint location. They must have visible vehicles parked in the area. When making contact with motorists, officers must give their names and inform the driver about the checkpoint operations. Officers do have discretion in choosing which vehicles they will pull to the side for further checks, including testing and searches.
The goal of a DUI checkpoint is to maintain safety for everyone at all times. If the location or actions of an officer make a site unsafe, it could lead to issues down the road with individuals captured by the checkpoint or other motorists who traveled the road. Ideally, these checkpoints will help to remove drunk drivers or impaired drivers from the roads, making them safer for everyone.