Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints (also called DUI checkpoints) are locations where law enforcement officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment. Many jurisdictions utilize sobriety checkpoints as part of their larger drunk driving deterrence program.

Due to legal issues surrounding their use, not all states conduct sobriety checkpoints. Some states have laws authorizing their use. Others forbid them or are silent on the issue.

States with no explicit statutory authority may or may not conduct checkpoints. In many states, the judiciary has stepped in to uphold or restrict sobriety checkpoints based on interpretation of state or federal Constitutions.

  • 37 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands conduct sobriety checkpoints.
  • In 13 states, sobriety checkpoints are not conducted. Some states prohibit them by state law or Constitution (or interpretation of state law or Constitution). Texas prohibits them based on the its interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Missouri law prohibits funds from being spent on checkpoint programs.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on sobriety checkpoint laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.

  • Alabama

    Checkpoints are conducted throughout the year. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Alaska

    Sobriety checkpoints are not conducted. They are not authorized by the state.

  • Arizona

    Checkpoints are conducted at least once per month. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Arkansas

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • California

    2,500 or more checkpoints are conducted annually. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Colorado

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution. 

  • Connecticut

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under state Constitution.

  • Delaware

    Checkpoints are conducted monthly from January to June and weekly from July to December. Their legality is upheld under state law and federal Constitution.

  • District of Columbia

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Florida

    Between 15 and 20 checkpoints are conducted each month. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Georgia

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Hawaii

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is authorized by statute.

  • Idaho

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under state law.

  • Illinois

    Several hundred checkpoints are conducted each year. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Indiana

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under state Constitution.

  • Iowa

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are not permitted; a statute authorizing roadblock controls does not authorize sobriety checkpoints.

  • Kansas

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under state law and federal Constitution.

  • Kentucky

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Louisiana

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under state Constitution.

  • Maine

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Maryland

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Massachusetts

    Checkpoints are conducted year-round. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Michigan

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under state Constitution.

  • Minnesota

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under state Constitution.

  • Mississippi

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • Missouri

    Checkpoints are authorized by law and their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution. However, the state budget prohibits funds from being spent on them.

  • Montana

    Checkpoints are not conducted. Statute permits only safety spot-checks.

  • Nebraska

    6 to 10 checkpoints are conducted each month. Their legality is upheld under state law.

  • Nevada

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is authorized by statute.

  • New Hampshire

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly (weather permitting). Their legality is authorized by statute, and must be judicially approved.

  • New Jersey

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution. 

  • New Mexico

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution, and law enforcement must follow guidelines.

  • New York

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under federal Constitution.

  • North Carolina

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is authorized by statute.

  • North Dakota

    Checkpoints are conducted. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Northern Mariana Islands

    Checkpoints are conducted twice a month.

  • Ohio

    Checkpoints are conducted year-round. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Oklahoma

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Oregon

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under state Constitution.

  • Pennsylvania

    Several hundred checkpoints are conducted yearly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Rhode Island

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under State Supreme Court decision.

  • South Carolina

    Checkpoints are conducted. There is no state authority upholding their legality.

  • South Dakota

    Checkpoints are held weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Tennessee

    Checkpoints are conducted once or twice a month. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Texas

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal under Texas' interpretation of federal Constitution.

  • Utah

    Checkpoints are conducted about every other month. Their legality is authorized by statute.

  • Vermont

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and gederal Constitution.

  • Virgin Islands

    Checkpoints are conducted monthly and during national mobilizations and local festivals and carnivals.

  • Virginia

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Washington

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are illegal without authorizing statute per State Supreme Court (Seattle v. Mesiani; 1988).

  • West Virginia

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Wisconsin

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are prohibited by statute.

  • Wyoming

    Checkpoints are not conducted. They are prohibited by interpretation of roadblock statute.