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Can I Legally Avoid a DUI Checkpoint in California?

dui checkpoint sign

DUI or sobriety checkpoints are legal in California and often set up during weekends and holidays. If you drive up to a checkpoint, you must stop the vehicle and comply with law enforcement officials.

However, many people wonder if it is legal to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint? The answer is there is no law against intentionally avoiding a sobriety checkpoint in California and the police are prohibited from pulling you over for simply driving away.

Keep in mind, you can legally avoid a DUI checkpoint, so long as all the following are true:

  • You drive in a reasonably safe manner – Any evidence of aggressive or reckless driving can be enough for the police to have reasonable suspicion of intoxicated driving. Common examples of aggressive and reckless driving behaviors include swerving, changing lanes or turning without signaling, or endangering other motorists on the road.
  • You obey traffic laws – If you commit a traffic violation, such as making an illegal U-turn or driving over a sidewalk, the police will pull you over. In addition, if your vehicle has a defect, such as a broken taillight, you could be stopped by law enforcement officials.

If you cannot legally turn your vehicle around, you must proceed to the sobriety checkpoint and follow instructions from the police officers. If you refuse to comply with the officer’s instructions, you will likely be charged with an infraction. Although you can legally refuse to submit to pre-arrest breath tests or field sobriety tests without facing criminal penalties, such actions may still lead to a DUI arrest.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Santa Rosa, call the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. at (707) 418-5352 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our firm has successfully represented thousands of clients facing a wide range of criminal charges!