Kansas City DUI Checkpoint Locations and Other Important Information
Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
October 17. 2020.
Kansas City DUI Checkpoint Locations and Strategies
Police officers at various Kansas City DUI checkpoint locations use a pattern for stopping motor vehicles, such as stopping every fourth one. When a vehicle is stopped, the officer will evaluate the driver for signs of drug and/or alcohol impairment.
Usually, law enforcement must have a probable cause to stop a vehicle, but not in these cases. In fact, a 1990 Supreme Court decision ruled that probable cause is not necessary during a sobriety checkpoint if the officer abides by specific criteria. The court upheld the government’s stance that reducing injuries and deaths related to alcohol was sufficient reason to justify the “brief intrusion” of a checkpoint. Eleven states do not allow DUI checkpoints, but the states that do typically have requirements that must be followed.
Whether you were guilty of driving under the influence or not, if you have to defend yourself against DWI charges, the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC will provide the necessary counsel to reduce or eliminate the potential repercussions.
Why Police Use Kansas City DUI Checkpoints
Although the highway patrol cannot usually stop a vehicle unless they believe a crime has been committed or a traffic law was violated, they can set up K.C. DUI checkpoints and stop cars at random thanks to the Fourth Amendment. This allows a reasonable search and seizure.
When a motor vehicle driver is pulled over by a police officer, it is considered reasonable by Fourth Amendment standards. This is because the police officer will have reasonable suspicion that a law was broken. In the case of DUI checkpoints, the police may stop every vehicle on a blocked roadway without a reasonable belief of the driver’s wrongdoing.
DWI Checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment
Despite the general rule that searches cannot be performed without probable cause, the Supreme Court ruled that temporary DWI checkpoints do not violate the Fourth Amendment. They stated that keeping impaired drivers off the road outweighs the inconvenience drivers might be caused.
Their approval does not mean that every detention at one is lawful, though. For example, if police detain a driver for an inordinate amount of time or perform a search without cause, a court may decide the stop surpassed what would generally be considered reasonable. As with all searches, the circumstances of the stop dictate the legality.
As stated, under the Constitution, K.C. DUI checkpoint locations are legal. However, states have their own statuettes and constitutions that sometimes give citizens more rights when dealing with law enforcement.
Several states like Wisconsin and Iowa prohibit sobriety checkpoints. Some states – like Michigan, Oregon, and Washington – have ruled that DUI checkpoints are a violation of the state constitution. So, officers may not set them up in those states. Contact our firm to find out what your rights are in your state.
Do I Have to Show My License at a DUI Checkpoint?
When considering your rights, you may wonder, “Do I have to show my license at a DUI checkpoint?” Some states have banned the practice of sobriety checkpoints while others mandate they violate the state’s constitution. Other states simply do not practice them. However, in Missouri, they are used, and they are a legal deterrent for those driving under the influence.
To be a legal DUI roadblock, the traffic stop during a scheduled DUI stop must be conducted appropriately. Keep in mind that officers can lie while investigating. So, if you are arrested or detained during a stop at a DUI location, do not be intimidated into a confession before speaking to an experienced traffic lawyer in K.C.
How a Sobriety Checkpoint Works
If you are stopped at a checkpoint, the law enforcement officer will ask questions to determine if you are sober. The only questions you are required to answer pertain to identification (they may ask for your license), insurance, and vehicle registration. If they ask you any more questions, you are not required to answer them, and you are not required to take a field sobriety test. However, the refusal to take a breath or urine test to determine your blood alcohol content automatically results in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
If you have been stopped at a Missouri or Overland Park DUI location, you should know your rights and how you should act. The most important thing to remember is you should remain calm, be polite, and not offer too much information. For example, if you are asked “Have you been drinking tonight?” you should not reply unless you can truthfully answer no. The slightest admission of guilt can be used against you.
How to Find Out Where Checkpoints Are
If you have been drinking in Overland Park, you will want to know how to find out where checkpoints are and how they may affect your travel. The Highway Patrol typically sets up DUI checkpoints on the weekends – Friday through Sunday. However, you never know when one might pop up.
The Internet may be your best resource. You can use your chosen search engine to determine if and when there will be a sobriety checkpoint in your area. You can also check the areas on the way to your destination if you are traveling. Simply type in “DUI checkpoint” and then click the results. You can also use the website Roadblock.org, which keeps up with where DUI checkpoints will be. Occasionally, checkpoints may be advertised on the local news station or in the newspaper. After all, officers are required to publish an upcoming sobriety checkpoint information and often chooses to do so through the newspaper.
There are more Kansas City checkpoint locations during the holiday season, so take extra precautions. If you are driving between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. (especially by a bar), police will be on the lookout for even the smallest vehicle swerve, so be careful and reach out to K.C. DWI lawyers for assistance.
Sobriety Checkpoints Kansas City
Police use sobriety checkpoints in Kansas City to investigate whether drivers are impaired. The checkpoints are usually set up early in the morning or late at night when drunk drivers will likely be on the road. If you are stopped and asked if your vehicle can be searched, you may refuse if they have no legal grounds.
It is often argued whether or not a sobriety checkpoint actually works or reduces the number of drivers who operate a motor vehicle while impaired. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after several studies, officers make three times more arrests for DUIs by patrolling than at a sobriety checkpoint. However, law enforcement believes checkpoints are effective because they show the public drunk driving will not be tolerated.
Contact the Benjamin Law Office via phone or email for knowledgeable advice and advocacy if you are detained in K.C., Overland Park, or the surrounding area.
If you have been drinking, use our "Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator"to estimate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you drive, but please keep in mind that the information it provides is just an estimate and may not be inaccurate.