Are DUI checkpoints legal in Texas?

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2023 | Blog, Criminal Defense, DWI-DUI

When people drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they pose a danger to themselves and others on the road. For this reason, members of law enforcement keep a close eye on people who are driving erratically and may even set up DUI checkpoints to catch those driving impaired. A checkpoint is a place where an officer sits and assesses each individual traveling through a certain location.

However, not all states allow DUI checkpoints. Is this method of enforcement legal in Texas?

DUI checkpoints are not allowed

In Texas, DUI checkpoints are not permitted due to a ruling stating that they violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which restricts searches and seizures made without probable cause. However, Texas residents may still be subject to sobriety checkpoints when driving through states that do permit those measures.

Motorists should still consider the consequences

It is important for motorists to keep in mind that even though they are unlikely to face a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers are still watching for people potentially driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Texas, a motorist shows intoxication if their breath test shows a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater. Drunk driving penalties are stiff and can include fines and time in jail, and become harsher the more times someone receives a DUI charge.

It is important for people to know their rights when driving on public roads, while at the same time doing their part to keep themselves, their passengers and other motorists safe.