Before going to happy hour with your friends, you are likely aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. But no matter how careful you are, in some situations, it is possible that you could overestimate your ability to handle your alcohol.
Sometimes your driving may not give a law enforcement officer (LEO) any indication that they should pull you over because your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) might be over the legal limit. However, a LEO does not need “probable cause” to stop you at a sobriety checkpoint. And since LEOs often establish sobriety checkpoints throughout Tennessee, you might be interested in understanding why some people believe they are beneficial.
3 reasons behind sobriety checkpoints
Debates about the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints continue, and not every state conducts these roadside checks. However, Tennessee LEOs are legally allowed to set up checkpoints once or twice per month.
According to MADD, sobriety checkpoints can benefit entire communities, as they aim to ensure the safety of all drivers.
Checkpoints remind you about law enforcement involvement in your community. They also:
- Can help reduce the $132 billion cost associated with alcohol-related crashes
- Remind you it is safer to find another ride home if you have been drinking
- Reduce racial profiling, because LEOs stop vehicles in a random order
Regardless of whether you have been drinking, LEOs have the right to stop your vehicle at marked checkpoints. However, it against the law for them to detain you or search your vehicle without reason.
Where you might experience checkpoints this June
This June, LEOs will establish sobriety checkpoints in the following areas:
- Fall Branch
With notice of the upcoming checkpoints near you, you have the option to avoid those roadways. However, if you do go through a checkpoint and face arrest for allegedly driving under the influence (DUI), it will be important for you to explore your rights.