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Sobriety Checkpoint Laws

Sobriety checkpoints (also called DUI checkpoints) are locations where law enforcment officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment. Many jurisdictions utilize sobriety checkpoints as part of their larger drunk driving deterrance program.

Due to legal issues surrounding their use, not all states conduct sobriety checkpoints. Some states have laws authorizing their use. Others forbid them or are silent on the issue.

Learn More About Drunk Driving

State Laws
   Drunk Driving
   Drug Impaired Driving

Issue Brief

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

States with no explicit statutory authority may or may not conduct checkpoints. In many states, the judiciary has stepped in to uphold or restrict sobriety checkpoints based on interpretation of state or federal Constitutions.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on sobriety checkpoint laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

State Checkpoints Conducted? Frequency Legality
Alabama Yes Throughout the year Upheld under federal Constitution
Alaska No   No state authority
Arizona Yes At least once per month Upheld under federal Constitution
Arkansas Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
California Yes 2,500+ annually Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Colorado Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Connecticut Yes   Upheld under state Constitution
Delaware Yes Monthly January to June; weekly July through December Upheld under state law and federal Constitution
D.C. Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under federal Constitution
Florida Yes Between 15-20 per month Upheld under federal Constitution
Georgia Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Hawaii Yes Weekly Authorized by statute
Idaho No   Illiegal under state law
Illinois Yes Several hundred per year Upheld under federal Constitution
Indiana Yes   Upheld under state Constitution
Iowa No   Not permitted - statute authorizing roadblock controls does not authorize sobriety checkpoints
Kansas Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state law and federal Constitution
Kentucky Yes Weekly Upheld under federal Constitution
Louisiana Yes   Upheld under state Constitution
Maine Yes   Upheld under federal Constitution
Maryland Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Massachusetts Yes Year round Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Michigan No   Illegal under state Constitution
Minnesota No   Illegal under state Constitution
Mississippi Yes Weekly Upheld under federal Constitution
Missouri Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Montana No   Statute permits only safety spotchecks
Nebraska Yes 6 - 10 per month Upheld under state law
Nevada Yes Once or twice a month Authorized by statute
New Hampshire Yes Weekly, weather permitting Authorized by statute (must be judicially approved)
New Jersey Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state and federal Constitution
New Mexico Yes   Upheld under state and federal Constitution (law enforcement must follow guidelines)
New York Yes Weekly Upheld under federal Constitution
North Carolina Yes Weekly Authorized by statute
North Dakota Yes   Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Northern Mariana Islands Yes Twice a month  
Ohio Yes Year round Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Oklahoma Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Oregon No   Illegal under state Constitution
Pennsylvania Yes Several hundred per year Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Rhode Island No   Illegal under State Supreme Court decision
South Carolina Yes   No state authority
South Dakota Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Tennessee Yes Once or twice a month Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Texas No   Illegal under Texas' interpretation of federal Constitution
Utah Yes About every other month Authorized by statute
Vermont Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Virgin Islands Yes Monthly and during national mobilizations and local festivals and carnivals  
Virginia Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Washington No   Illegal without authorizing statute per State Supreme Court (Seattle v. Mesiani; 1988)
West Virginia Yes Weekly Upheld under state and federal Constitution
Wisconsin No   Prohibited by statute
Wyoming No   Prohibited by interpretation of roadblock statute
Total States 38 + D.C., Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands    

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.