The holidays may be drawing to a close (finally!), but law enforcement officials know that the cold weather is still conducive to late nights at the bar, taking shots with friends and forgetting about the awkwardness of the three separate Christmas dinners you were dragged to on one day. They also know that plenty of drinkers, around this time of the year, are the kind of people who only go out drinking at this time of the year.
Long story short, the cops know that more people are out drinking, more people are driving while intoxicated, and one of the best preventative strategies against drunk driving is to set up DWI checkpoints.
So, here are just a few key points about DWI checkpoints to keep in mind:
- Like other traffic laws, each state has the ability to pass legislation either allowing or prohibiting DWI traffic stops. You should always check to see if your home state allows these checkpoints, but if you’re driving in a state you’re less familiar with, it’s always a good idea to see what that state’s policy is.
- It might seem surprising, but many cities and towns actually announce when their local law enforcement officials are going to set up DWI checkpoints, and where those checkpoints will be. This isn’t to say that you should plan out your route home so that you can have a few beers without getting caught; for anyone who actually pays attention to these announcements, they serve as reminders that it’s important to be extra careful before driving after drinking.
- With nearly every other traffic violation, a cop has to have a reason for pulling over a driver, but this traffic law doesn’t really apply when it comes to DWI traffic stops. Technically, you’re being pulled over and questioned without giving any hints that you might be breaking the law, but because DWI traffic stops are so effective at weeding out people who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, many states have permitted these checkpoints.
- Finally, remember that cooperation and respect are key if and when you get pulled over for any reason, including a routine DWI traffic stop. If the cops determine that you’re driving under the influence, they have every right to issue a DUI or DWI arrest at one of these stops — and the worst thing you can do is argue with them on the side of the street.
So now it’s up to you — what are your thoughts on these checkpoints? What other tips should drivers keep in mind? Be sure to share your thoughts and information with us in the comments section! Get more on this here.