DUI checkpoints often get set up along highways during times when police suspect many people will hit the road while intoxicated. This can include later in summer days, around holidays and on long weekends.
Many drivers wonder if it is legal to turn around if they spot a DUI checkpoint up ahead. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is yes.
Legal ways to avoid DUI checkpoints
LowCost Interlock discusses DUI checkpoints and how drivers can interact with them. Essentially, it is possible to avoid a DUI checkpoint, but a driver must ensure the safety of their fellow drivers by not making risky road decisions to do so. In other words, if a driver can make a safe and legal U-turn, that is fine. But making an illegal U-turn is not.
Likewise, drivers can turn down side streets or turn around before reaching a DUI checkpoint. All drivers should understand that an officer could select them at random based on reasonable suspicion after fully passing through the checkpoint.
Evoking police suspicion and attention
However, note that police can potentially pursue a driver for avoiding a DUI checkpoint. While it is legal for officers to set checkpoints up and legal for drivers to avoid them, an officer can pursue a vehicle if they feel the driver avoided the checkpoint due to fears of failing it.
Signs an officer might pursue a driver for can include speeding, aggressive driving, swerving, straddling lanes, making illegal turns, or driving far below the speed limit. They can also stop drivers for other unrelated issues such as broken tail lights, and may then test for DUI if they suspect an officer hit the road under the influence.