Sobriety checkpoints are not uncommon in the state of Ohio. These checkpoints are designed to help deter drunk driving and remove those from the roads who have consumed too much alcohol to drive. The following provides information on what these checkpoints are and what a stop can mean for your future.
What are sobriety checkpoints? The Ohio State Highway Patrol clarifies that these checkpoints are enforcement tools. The stops are used to reduce the risk of drunk driving accidents throughout the state.
Public notice of a checkpoint is required. The checkpoint must have clearly marked stops. The stops must be marked with highly visible signs well in advance of the checkpoint. Fully marked police vehicles must be present at the checkpoint. Vehicles that approach the checkpoint are either signaled through are stopped. The stops must be uniformly random. If stopped, the officers are to look for “articulable signs of alcohol impairment.” Additional screening results in the event the officer believes the driver is impaired.
What if a sobriety checkpoint leads to allegations of drunk driving? Everyone in Ohio wants the roads to be safe, but we also want to avoid false allegations of drunk driving.
It is important to seek legal counsel if charged with drunk driving during one of these stops. This will allow a review of the details of the stop to help ensure your rights were not violated. The criminal charges could get dismissed if the officers failed to follow proper protocol. Even if there is not a violation, other defenses may be available. Contact an attorney to review your stop and discuss your options