Sobriety checkpoints, also known as DWI checkpoints, are a tool used by law enforcement agencies to ensure road safety. However, the legality of DWI checkpoints is a subject of debate in various states, including New York.
Some drivers consider the use of DWI checkpoints to be malicious or unreasonable. These checkpoints remain a reality regardless of personal opinion, so it is important to understand their legality.
The legal basis for DWI checkpoints
In New York, DWI checkpoints are legal and their existence is part of the state’s commitment to public safety. The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law empowers law enforcement agencies to establish sobriety checkpoints for the purpose of identifying and apprehending individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Requirements for legitimate DWI checkpoints
There are certain criteria for a DWI checkpoint to be legal in New York. Law enforcement must conduct stops in a non-discriminatory manner and must not violate any constitutional rights. Officers should adhere to the goal of maintaining public safety without targeting specific individuals or groups.
Legal constraints on DWI checkpoints
While New York recognizes the legality of DWI checkpoints, the courts have imposed limitations to ensure that they remain within the boundaries of the law. Any deviations from the established guidelines may result in the exclusion of evidence obtained during a checkpoint stop.
The New York Governor’s Press Office reported the issuing of 10,238 traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend of 2021 alone, due largely to a strategy involving sobriety checkpoints. The use of these checkpoints is not only legal in New York but it is also something that generates a large number of arrests.