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.

Short Term Description
Sobriety checkpoints (also called DUI checkpoints) are locations where law enforcement officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment.
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