Tangaro Law | Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Utah DUI Checkpoints – Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights, DUI Checkpoints, Fourth of July Weekend

Fourth of July weekend is upon us. This is the time for us to celebrate the birth of our nation and appreciate the rights and privileges we have by being American citizens. It’s important that you know what your constitutional rights are and how they apply to a Utah DUI Checkpoint.

DUI checkpoints are the most common roadblocks you might encounter. Holiday weekends such as the Fourth of July are when you can expect to find DUI checkpoints and extra officers on duty paying particular attention for signs of impaired drivers. Perhaps you’ve seen the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that the State of Utah is advancing.

DUI checkpoints function as a general purpose investigatory tactic where police can get a close look at passing motorists by detaining them briefly. A roadblock stop is quick, but it gives police a chance to check tags and licenses, while also giving officers a quick whiff of the driver’s breath and a chance to peer into the vehicle for a moment.

Remember that your constitutional rights still apply in a roadblock situation:

  • Police are permitted to stop you briefly.
  • They may not search you or your car unless they have probable cause or you agree to the search.
  • If you are asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests, you have the right to refuse.
  • However, refusing to comply with a chemical test carries an 18 month suspension of driving.

Utah law requires that DUI checkpoints be published in advance.

One final word of caution, officers monitor motorists who approach a roadblock and make an abrupt U-turn or throw items out the window. Engaging in these activities only calls attention to your vehicle and generally increases your chances for scrutiny from law enforcement.

Charged with DUI in Utah? Call today…801.673.9984

Cara Tangaro,

Salt Lake City, DUI Attorney