Around “drinking” holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, the Santa Barbara Sheriff and Santa Barbara Police are usually out performing DUI checkpoints around Santa Barbara and Goleta.
Here are 5 things you should know about DUI checkpoints:
1. Police usually tell you that a DUI checkpoint is coming up.*
2. You can avoid checkpoints.
– The police cannot pull you over simply because you turn around at a checkpoint.
3. If you avoid a checkpoint, police can pull you over if:
i. You drive illegally** OR
ii. You show signs of intoxication
4. Officers cannot select which vehicles to stop at the checkpoint.
– The police must stop cars in a consistent pattern (IE: every third car)
5. You can contest your DUI charge by challenging the legality of a DUI checkpoint. There are 8 factors the court looks at to determine if a checkpoint is legal.
*If you are not warned about a checkpoint, you can challenge the legality of the checkpoint in Court on the grounds that it was unavoidable.
**Examples of illegal driving include failing to signal, crossing a double-yellow line, and making an improper u-turn.