Drivers in Pennsylvania should expect more delays while traveling this fall because DUI sobriety checkpoints will be growing in numbers.
According to Public Opinion, state police will increase DUI sobriety checkpoints throughout September to target intoxicated drivers. The local authorities will focus roads with a high volume of DUI arrests and crashes.
What can drivers expect?
Checkpoints, also known as roadblocks, are traffic stops that are not tied to specific or individual suspicion. An example of individualized suspicion is pulling over a driver for exceeding the speed limit. For a checkpoint, a police officer can stop any driver and briefly detained them for sobriety tests.
The goal of the roadblocks is to take drunk drivers off the road and keep other travelers safe. The checkpoints are often advertised before areas known for intoxicated driving and high volumes of traffic.
If a police officer pulls you over, they will ask you for name, license, registration or proof of insurance. They may also ask other questions based on what they suspicious of, but drivers do not have to answer legally. You can politely decline to answer additional questioning.
If the authorities have a reason to suspect you are driving under the influence, they will conduct field tests and take your blood alcohol level. If the officers follow procedures in a non-discriminatory manner, then they can submit the results into court.
Pennsylvania holds strict penalties for a DUI offense, including jail time, ignition interlock installation, thousands of dollars in fees and more. It’s important for drivers to be aware of what to expect at these checkpoints and what their rights are.