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What you should know about sobriety checkpoints in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | OVI

male police officer holding a breathlyers

During the summer months in Ohio, police often increase sobriety checkpoints.

Knowing how to handle yourself before and during a stop can help you avoid trouble.

Are you allowed to avoid a checkpoint?

You can avoid a checkpoint as long as you do not violate traffic laws. Ohio law requires police to announce checkpoints in advance and make them visible from a distance. No law states that you must go through the checkpoint. However, if you make an illegal U-turn or drive off the road to avoid it, the police will likely follow you and stop you for a traffic violation.

Do you have to submit to field sobriety testing?

You can refuse to participate in field sobriety testing if flagged at a sobriety checkpoint, just as you can during any OVI stop. Ohio has three standardized field sobriety tests:

  1. Horizontal gaze nystagmus test
  2. The walk-and-turn test
  3. The one-leg stand test

They use these tests to gather further evidence of intoxication. However, the results are sometimes inaccurate. Ohio’s implied consent law still requires you to submit to chemical testing.

What else do police look for at sobriety checkpoints?

During a routine sobriety checkpoint, police will also look for signs of other crimes and traffic violations, such as driving without a license or insurance, possession of controlled substances or driving without valid registration. They also check vehicles for visible infractions, such as broken headlights or brake lights.

Remember, an arrest for OVI in Ohio is not a conviction. You still have a day in court to argue your side. Reach out to an OVI defense lawyer to learn about your options.

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