DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checkpoints, are legal in the state of Utah. That means drivers from Provo to Farmington could potentially be stopped and assessed for signs of drug or alcohol impairment.
While DUI checkpoints can be a minor inconvenience for drivers, they have been shown to reduce alcohol-related auto accident injuries and fatalities by up to 20 percent. By taking intoxicated drivers off the road, the toll of hospital bills and lawyer fees from a crash can be reduced or negated altogether.
At a DUI checkpoint, officers must stop all vehicles or systematically stop vehicles (such as every 3rd car) to check drivers for signs of impairment. If officers do not stop people systematically, the opposing party’s lawyer could sue for discrimination. Legally, checkpoints must also be set up at a specific location for a specific period of time and publicized beforehand.
Rather than catching drunk drivers, the real goal of a DUI checkpoint is to deter impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place. People are far less likely to drink and drive if they think they will encounter a checkpoint.
DUI checkpoints have a demonstrable effect on impaired driving. Sobriety checkpoints in New Mexico resulted in a 26 percent reduction in alcohol-related fatalities. New Jersey’s resulted in a 10-15 percent decrease in nighttime auto accident rates and Tennessee’s highly publicized program reduced alcohol-related fatalities by 20 percent for a full 21 months.
Even in areas with a low frequency of drunk driving, such as Farmington, checkpoints can be helpful. In fact, most law enforcement officials argue DUI checkpoints aren’t used often enough. In order to reduce alcohol-related auto accident rates and fatalities, checkpoints should be utilized more than once a month.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a drunk driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at Robert J DeBry & Associates as soon as possible. Whether you live in Salt Lake City or Farmington, an accident involving a drunk driver doesn’t have to spell the end of your driving career.