Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Cincinnati?

Posted On: January 12th, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

We’ve all seen DUI checkpoints around Cincinnati late at night—or at least heard of someone we know stopped at one. These OVI checkpoints are usually set up on nights where drinking is common, especially throughout the holiday season we’re just now putting behind us. Many people feel like such checkpoints are entrapment—designed to bust even innocent, safe drivers for DUIs. People often argue that such stops even constitute an illegal search and seizure, since officers have neither probable cause to detain you nor a warrant.

So, then, how are DUI checkpoints legal in Cincinnati?

In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such random DUI checks weren’t an illegal seizure under the Fourth Amendment per se, so long as people are pulled over in a fair, uniform manner. They consider DUI checkpoints to be a minimally intrusive law enforcement measure in which the benefits to society outweigh the costs. That means that DUI checkpoints are legal in Cincinnati, as well as in Ohio as a whole.

How Can I Avoid Cincinnati DUI Checkpoints?

Of course, as soon as officers smell alcohol or see any evidence of your impairment, they have probable cause to ask you to comply with further sobriety tests or even arrest you for an OVI. Even if you are well under the legal limit or simply driving others who have been drinking, you could find yourself stuck trying to prove your innocence against such DUI charges, something every person in Cincinnati wants to avoid.

So how do you avoid DUI checkpoints? The truth is, it’s hard to get away from a DUI checkpoint once you’re already on the road where you can see it. Turing around to avoid being checked could even be considered suspicious behavior that leads to your detention regardless. Luckily, Ohio law requires that Cincinnati police post a notice about DUI checkpoints before they occur, so you can stay in on those nights to avoid the risk entirely. Of course, you should never drink and drive, so the risk of an arrest at these checkpoints should be minimal, but any interaction with police can make people understandably nervous, and you have the right to avoid it if you wish.

Cincinnati DUI checkpoints are unlikely to be eliminated anytime soon, which means that you need to be vigilant about when they may occur, as well as how you should behave during these stops. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid DUI stops altogether. If you find yourself detained for a DUI or even arrested for driving under the influence, you need a strong legal defense to keep the problem from growing even worse.

Call the Cincinnati DUI attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates right away at (513) 338-1890 to set up a free initial consultation to find out how we may be able to help your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so we can be on the case, dealing with police on your behalf right from the start. Don’t feel like you have to be alone during this difficult time. Let us help.