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Are DUI checkpoints actually legal?

You may have been through a DUI checkpoint recently. Even if you had nothing to drink -- or especially if you had nothing to drink -- did you feel like your rights were being violated?

After all, the police typically can never stop a car without a reason to do so. They have to think that a driver is intoxicated based on their driving -- swerving, stopping, crashing, etc -- or they need to pull them over for some other offense and then determine that they've been drinking. They can't just pull over random cars and check.

That's what a DUI checkpoint appears to do, though. It stops every car on the road. Is this legal?

It depends on the state. Some, like Texas, have decided that the checkpoints do violate the constitution. They don't use them. Others, like Maryland, have decided to allow them. In some areas, they run checkpoints almost once a week. The state constitution upholds the legality of these checkpoints, despite the controversy that they always seem to bring with them.

Now, maybe you tend to agree more with lawmakers in Texas. You don't think that the checkpoint was legal at all. You think it violated your rights.

Unfortunately, you cannot simply assume that is the case. You need to know that the checkpoint laws differ from state to state and they are allowed here, no matter your personal opinion. That's why it is so important for you to look into all of your legal defense options if you do get stopped at a checkpoint and arrested for drunk driving.

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