Legal or Not? | Sobriety Checkpoints in Texas

police officer in yellow vest standing at a sobriety checkpoint

Twelve states currently prohibit the use of DWI checkpoints. Is Texas one of those 12? Smith & Vinson Law Firm answers this question and more in our blog.

The Status of Sobriety Checkpoints in Texas

Sobriety checkpoints, also called DWI checkpoints, are prohibited in Texas. The police are not allowed to use this method in the state, as it has been criticized for violating the Constitutional rights of drivers. Texas sides with the point of law stating that there needs to be probable cause to stop a driver, such as the driver violating a traffic law. When drivers approach a checkpoint, they are subject to a stop and arrest even if there is no cause.

While Texas police cannot use sobriety checkpoints, there are other things that you should know about DWI patrols - especially with the upcoming holidays.

Saturation Patrols for DWI Arrests

Saturation patrols are often used in place of sobriety checkpoints. This is a legal practice that still gives the police ample opportunity to make DWI arrests. A saturation patrol method is when a large number of police officers are stationed in a relatively small area where impaired drivers are likely to travel through. These officers closely watch drivers looking for any sign the driver is impaired, and any road violation that gives them the ability to make a traffic stop.

Generally, you will notice an increase in police patrols on the weekends, late at night, holiday weekends, or on nights of large local events when DWI is expected to increase.

If You’re Charged with DWI in Austin

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s coming up, there will be an increase in DWI patrols and arrests. If you are one of the unlucky drivers who has your holiday season soiled by an arrest, call us at Smith & Vinson Law Firm. We have helped numerous drivers protect themselves after accusations of driving while intoxicated and we can help you too. Reach us at (512) 359-3743 or online.

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