Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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Are DWI checkpoints legal in New York?

| Jul 28, 2020 | DWI defense |

Sobriety checkpoints work in two ways. They make people think twice about drunk driving, and they remove some drunken drivers from the road. Anyone caught driving while intoxicated (DWI) in one of these checkpoints will face charges.

You may have heard rumors that DWI checkpoints are illegal. They are in some states, but not in New York. However, the police can only use them if they meet specific requirements:

  • The roadblocks need a checkpoint supervisor present.
  • Field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests must be carried out appropriately.
  • Choosing which cars to stop needs to be done by a predetermined method, for instance, every second car. Stops cannot take too long and cannot be too intrusive.
  • The police must get authority in advance for a DWI roadblock. They often publicize that they will install sobriety checkpoints on weekends where the chance of people drinking and getting into their car is higher, such as the recent Fourth of July weekend. The New York State Police arrested 180 people for DWI offenses at sobriety roadblocks over the Independence Day holiday.

If you are charged as a result of a DWI checkpoint, one of the strategies an Orange County DWI attorney can use is to question the validity of the control point or the tests used. If the law officers did not follow the correct procedures, you might be able to get the charges dropped. However, it is essential to remember that if you want to avoid DWI charges, the easiest way is never to drink and drive.