If you have ever traveled in another state, only for police to stop you in a roadblock, you understand how unsettling this experience can be, especially if you have had a glass of wine or a beer with friends at a restaurant earlier in the evening. As a licensed driver in Wisconsin, however, you are obligated to be aware of and adhere to the traffic laws of this state, which may differ from those in other states. For instance, DUI checkpoints are illegal here.
In case you thought you read that wrong, it is worth repeating: DUI checkpoints are illegal in Wisconsin. It is one of the few states throughout the country that does not allow police officers to set up roadblocks to randomly stop motorists for a sobriety check. Idaho, Washington, Texas and Oregon are among states that also have laws prohibiting the random stopping of motorists to issue sobriety tests.
Those who oppose DUI checkpoints usually give this reason
If you oppose DUI checkpoints, you might count yourself among those who say that they are unconstitutional because they violate personal rights protected under the Fourth Amendment. This amendment protects your privacy against unlawful searches or seizure of items from your property, vehicle or person.
In spite of opposition citing the Fourth Amendment as a justifiable reason why DUI checkpoints are unconstitutional, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that such stops are reasonable under certain circumstances and do not violate the Fourth Amendment. The federal government condones the use of DUI checkpoints as a means of improving travel safety and reducing the number of drunk driving accidents in the United States.
Always cooperate if Wisconsin police pull you over
While DUI checkpoints are illegal in Wisconsin, it is never a good idea to disregard a police officer’s attempt to pull you over in traffic. It is always best to comply and to cooperate in a respectful manner. If you believe that a personal rights violation has occurred, you can take legal steps to address the matter in court at the appropriate time.
If you are driving in Wisconsin, and especially if you have consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel, it is critical to have a clear understanding of state laws regarding drunk driving. It is also important to know your rights and what to do to protect those rights in court, if you wind up being taken into police custody and are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.