Legal Details Concerning DUI Sobriety Checkpoints


DUI Sobriety checkpoints are a commonly used method used by law enforcement to stop and detain drunk drivers in Orange County and throughout the entire country. Law enforcement agencies in Orange County and Southern California often receive grant money to conduct Sobriety Checkpoints and/or Roadblock or Roving DUI Patrols or DUI Saturation Patrols. While Checkpoints, especially those for DUI, rarely capture large volumes of drunk drivers, the government defends them by claiming that they were designed to deter drunk driving. "Roving DUI Patrols" oftentimes prove more successful in locating DUI drivers because they cover a larger geographical area.

Click here to learn more about Orange County Roving DUI Patrols or Orange County DUI Saturation Patrols.

CHECKPOINT ALERTS: Where DUI Checkpoints Are Scheduled in Orange County


DUI Sobriety checkpoints are used by law enforcement to locate drunk drivers. In a Sobriety Checkpoint, or DUI Roadblock, law enforcement officials stop every vehicle, (or every nth vehicle), on a public roadway to investigate the possibility that the driver might driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or violating some other law.

Orange County DUI Checkpoints

If you were arrested for DUI while going through a DUI Sobriety Checkpoint, contact Peter F. Iocona, Attorney at Law to discuss the legal and/or factual defenses that may exist in your case.


Sobriety checkpoints are often set up on holidays or holiday weekends, late at night or in the very early morning hours, a time where statistically the proportion of impaired drivers tends to be the highest. Sometimes, sobriety checkpoints are set close to the exit points of public events. This would seem illegal, but it is not. Indication that a Sobriety Checkpoint is ahead requires the posting of signs advising drivers that a DUI Sobriety checkpoint is being conducted ahead. DUI Sobriety Checkpoints must afford drivers a means to escape the Sobriety Checkpoint, but there are usually motor officers on scene looking for drivers trying to escape the Sobriety Checkpoint. The motor officers can stop only those vehicles that commit an actual violation of law in avoiding the checkpoint—they cannot pull the driver off just because it appears that the driver is attempting to avoid the Sobriety Checkpoint.

During a sobriety checkpoint, law enforcement officials typically set up cones and roadblocks to narrow the roadway so vehicles will pass through only a couple lanes from which one cannot get out prior to reaching the “greeter”. If selected by way of the neutral mathematical formula, (i.e., every vehicle or every nth vehicle), and you display “objective signs of intoxication” such as the odor of alcohol, bloodshot/watery eyes or slurred speech, you will then likely be escorted to the “screening” section of the DUI Sobriety Checkpoint where the Field Sobriety Testing will be administered. Thereafter, if arrested, you will be required to submit to a breath test or a blood test as required by the Implied Consent Statutes (Vehicle Code Section 23612).


As discussed above, any law enforcement agency who conducts a "Sobriety Checkpoint" must prepare a "DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Packet" or "Ingersoll Packet" to establish that the Checkpoint complied with all the requirements set forth by the Ingersoll V. Palmer decision.


In addition to the "Sobriety Checkpoint Packet" or "Ingersoll Packet", the agency may have also taken video of the Sobriety Checkpoint. Sometimes the video is only of the Sobriety Checkpoint layout and other times there is video of the entire DUI Sobriety Checkpoint, meaning, video of all of the vehicles passing through the Sobriety Checkpoint. While the latter type of video recording is uncommon, they may be present in certain cases.

Nevertheless, in addition to the aforementioned information, you can learn about the type of DUI Discovery each of the Orange County Law Enforcement Agencies use by clicking the appropriate link below for the Orange County City in which you were arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI):