- If I see a sobriety checkpoint, can I legally avoid it?
You may avoid a sobriety checkpoint by making legal traffic maneuvers. If you break a traffic law while trying to avoid a sobriety checkpoint you can be charged with a traffic violation. Sobriety checkpoints are usually set up so it is almost impossible to avoid them without breaking any traffic laws. If you do take action to avoid a checkpoint, the officer may still pull you over as he will think you are trying to avoid the checkpoint because you have something to hide.
- What do I say to when the officer asks whether or not I have been drinking?
This depends on the circumstances. If you have not been drinking, you can say so, or you can still choose to use your right to remain silent. If you have been drinking, you should not lie to the officer. This can be used against you. Even if you believe you are under the limit, but you have been drinking, you should exercise your right to remain silent.
- Where are sobriety checkpoints usually set up?
Sobriety checkpoints are on main roads as well as side streets. Checkpoints are not supposed to be placed on interstates due to safety concerns, but they can often be found on entrance and exit ramps to interstates.
- Are the police allowed to conduct drug checkpoints?
No. The US Supreme Court has ruled that checkpoints for the purpose of general crime control are unconstitutional, therefore drug checkpoints are illegal. Some police agencies try to get around this by setting up drug checkpoint ahead signs on highways and nabbing drivers who through contraband out the window or quickly get off the highway. This tactic is being investigated and may or may not be legal.
- Do the police look for other violations besides DWI or DUI at sobriety checkpoints?
Yes. Many times officers will check drivers licenses, insurance cards, as well as look for seat belt violations, expired tags, and other traffic or vehicle violations.
- Am I required to answer the officer’s questions at a checkpoint?
No, you are not legally required to answer any questions at a sobriety checkpoint. You may at any time invoke your right to remain silent. You still may be required to show identification or proof of insurance.
- What is the legal limit for blood alcohol content in Missouri?
The legal BAC in Missouri is .08 which is the same as most of the United States. A BAC above .08 is grounds for a DWI charge, however, it is important to note that if you are below this limit, and the officer still believes you are intoxicated you can still be charged with DWI.
- What is a safety checkpoint?A safety checkpoint is where officers set up a roadblock that looks similar to a sobriety checkpoint. Officers may check driver’s licenses, proof of insurance, registration, and seat belt usage. Officers will also make arrests for intoxication, drug possession, or any other violations they see as motorists pass through the checkpoint.