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Is it possible (or legal) to avoid a DUI checkpoint in South Dakota?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | DUI |

DUI checkpoints are a reality in many states, including South Dakota. Police say they are helpful in catching people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and deter others from trying. Understanding the rules and your rights regarding these checkpoints can be very important.

Understanding DUI checkpoints

Usually, the police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime before they can pull you over. However, the U.S. Supreme Court created an exception for DUI checkpoints in a 1990 decision. The Court set out several rules that police agencies must follow when they set up a checkpoint in states that allow them, including South Dakota. For example, local law enforcement cannot set up checkpoints more than once a month.

Your options before reaching a checkpoint

It’s worth noting that you are not required to pass through a DUI checkpoint if you see one ahead of you. You have the option to turn around or take another route. However, once you have interacted with the officers running the checkpoint, you are legally obligated to follow their directions, including submitting to a roadside breath test, just as in a normal traffic stop.

What to do if arrested at a DUI checkpoint

If you find yourself arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it’s crucial to remember that you have not been convicted of a crime. Police officers must adhere to strict protocols when conducting these checkpoints, and any deviation from legal procedures could result in evidence being inadmissible in court. This could potentially lead to your charges being dismissed.

In such a situation, it’s advisable to contact a defense attorney who is experienced with DUI cases. They can review the specifics of your case, advise you on the best course of action, and help protect your rights.