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Are DWI Checkpoints Legal in Texas?

If you’ve lived in other states (outside of Texas), you may have heard about sobriety checkpoints, also known as “DUI or DWI checkpoints.” With these checkpoints, law enforcement personnel set up a station to check drivers for signs of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or a combination of both.

The cops also check to see if drivers are driving on a suspended or revoked license, and they check for drivers with outstanding warrants. In many states, DWI checkpoints are a part of the state’s larger anti-drinking and driving campaign.

Texas’ Position on DWI Checkpoints

The question is, “Are DWI checkpoints conducted in Texas?” We’ll answer that momentarily, but according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), “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.”

As of this writing, 37 states conduct DWI or DUI checkpoints and 13 states do not conduct them. So, what is Texas’ position on sobriety checkpoints? According to the GHSA, Texas does NOT conduct sobriety checkpoints because they are unlawful under the state’s interpretation of the federal Constitution.

Laws in Neighboring States

Texas may not conduct DWI checkpoints, but that doesn’t mean our neighboring states do not. If you are planning to travel outside of Texas with your vehicle, be aware of the sobriety checkpoint laws in the states adjacent to Texas:

  • Oklahoma: Checkpoints are typically conducted once or twice a month in Oklahoma.
  • Louisiana: Checkpoints are conducted in Louisiana.
  • Arkansas: Sobriety checkpoints are conducted weekly in Arkansas.
  • New Mexico: Sobriety checkpoints are legal in New Mexico and they are held on a weekly basis.

If you notice, sobriety checkpoints are conducted in all of the states adjacent to Texas. In each of the above states, the legality of checkpoints are upheld under state Constitution or state and federal Constitution. So, if you drive outside of Texas in any of these neighboring states, be on the lookout for DWI checkpoints!

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