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Are DWI Checkpoints Legal in Texas?

If you’re a licensed driver, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about sobriety checkpoints, also referred to as DUI or DWI checkpoints. A DUI checkpoint is a location set up by law enforcement for the purpose of nabbing drunk or drugged drivers. Usually, DUI checkpoints are conducted on weekend evenings, near bars and places where alcohol is served.

DWI checkpoints are also set up in areas with a high number of DWI arrests and accidents. In other words, sobriety checkpoints are strategically conducted in areas and during specific times where drunk drivers are expected to be. Understandably, they would be placed in areas near popular bars and nightclubs.

Throughout the United States, many jurisdictions use DUI checkpoints as a bigger part of their anti-drinking and driving campaign. However, sobriety checkpoints have many legal issues. Most states use sobriety checkpoints regularly, while others do not utilize them because they strictly forbid them.

Texas Does Not Use DWI Checkpoints

According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), “37 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands conduct sobriety checkpoints.” Only 13 states do not conduct sobriety checkpoints, and Texas is one of them. Texas does not conduct DWI checkpoints because it’s against the law under the state’s “interpretation of federal Constitution,” reports the GHSA.

If you’re going to be travelling out-of-state, beware, 37 states do utilize DWI checkpoints! For example, our neighbors, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Oklahoma all conduct sobriety checkpoints. So, if you find yourself driving out of Texas and into one of our neighboring states, just be aware that DWI checkpoints are conducted on a regular basis in most of the U.S.

Are you facing DWI charges in Plano or Dallas? If so, we urge you to contact our firm right away to schedule an initial consultation. A DWI conviction in Texas has harsh penalties, such as driver’s license suspension, thousands in fines, incarceration, and of course, a permanent criminal record. To protect your freedom and your driving privileges, contact us today!