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Drivers Can Expect DUI Checkpoints over Thanksgiving Weekend

By Jim Greene

on November 16, 2010

It may be a little early to know if police in your community will set up DUI checkpoints for the coming Thanksgiving weekend, but, if history is an indicator, the chances are they will. A quick search of the Internet for “DUI checkpoints Thanksgiving” reveals articles about checkpoints across the country in past years.

Although spring and summer holidays and New Year’s Eve are better known for the kind of parties that promote drinking, nearly all holidays include increased opportunities to consume alcohol. Most police agencies that conduct DUI checkpoints include the fall and winter holiday season on their schedule.

Police See Checkpoints as a Deterrent

Police in many communities announce DUI checkpoint locations in advance, because they view public awareness of their existence as a deterrent to driving under the influence. It’s a good bet that most people don’t commit the locations to memory, and that just knowing they’re out there somewhere might encourage prudence in some.

In spite of the good intentions behind them and their value as a deterrent, DUI checkpoints are not always the most effective means of arresting and prosecuting drunk drivers. There are many opportunities for error in the administration of field sobriety and blood alcohol concentration tests, and holiday DUI checkpoints are often staffed by officers with less training in the necessary procedures than those normally assigned to stop drunk drivers.

Confusion, Timing Can Impair Accuracy of DUI Testing

DUI checkpoints are often busy places, with officers hurrying to process a long line of vehicles. The noise, lights, and general confusion of heavy traffic can interfere with a DUI suspect’s ability to pass a field sobriety. The time that passes between an initial arrest and an opportunity to take the usually more accurate and reliable blood test can render the results less meaningful.

If you’re arrested after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint, and feel that mistakes were made, contact an experienced DUI attorney. Because of the special circumstances that exist at DUI checkpoints, your attorney may be able to prove that you did not receive proper treatment, invalidating the evidence against you. You owe it to your financial well-being to get the best defense available.

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