California DUI Checkpoint Requirements

Summer brings warmth, long days and a heavy increase in DUI Checkpoints to the State of California. Driving through a checkpoint can be a terrifying incident, even if you are stone cold sober. Knowing how to act, what to expect and what the officers are looking for may save your license and your freedom.

In addition to many other factors all California DUI Checkpoints must be publicized in advance. Many times police departments will issue press releases 48 hours in advance of a planned DUI Checkpoint. Police Departments and other law enforcement agencies have gotten creative when releasing checkpoint information. It can be difficult to find and checkpoints are often published at an undisclosed time and location within the city limits. A great way to check for upcoming DUI Checkpoints is by liking the California DUI Checkpoint Locations Facebook page.

Checkpoints must have the indicia of official nature of roadblock. In short, the checkpoint must be well lit with signs, flashing lights, police vehicles and the presence of uniformed officers.

When driving up to a DUI Checkpoint it is in your best interest to proceed with caution. Do not attempt abrupt evasive movements. This could attract attention to your vehicle. Checkpoints are required to establish a neutral formula for stopping cars; unfortunately a neutral formula can include stopping every vehicle. If you are stopped at the checkpoint you will be asked to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. You may be asked a brief list of screening questions such as where you are coming from and how much you have had to drink. An officer is looking for a number of clues to determine whether you are driving under the influence including if you fumble for your driver’s license, you smell of alcohol or you have slurred speech or red, watery eyes.

If the officer believes that you have been driving under influence then he or she may ask you to pull to the side of the road and conduct field sobriety tests including blowing into a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device. The officer may then place you under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.


Foremost, don’t panic. The less frantic you are, the more apt you are to successfully get through a checkpoint without issue. Checkpoints must be well publicized to drivers. This means that there may be a safe way to avoid the checkpoint. Make sure that in your haste you do not commit a traffic violation such as making an illegal U-turn or forgetting to use your signal.

On approach to the DUI Checkpoint, remain calm. If stopped, reach for the requested documents at ease. The officer is trained to look for fumbling or discomfort when you present your driver’s license and registration. Do not argue or be disrespectful to the officer. Being combative will only increase the likelihood of being further detained or arrested.

The best way to avoid being arrested by at a California DUI Checkpoint is to have a sober driver, take a cab or hire Uber to do the driving for you.


In the unfortunate event that you are arrested for driving under the influence, you need to act fast to save your license and defend your rights. DUI Checkpoints require a number of factors to be constitutional. Let the California DUI Attorneys at The Law Offices of Scott Henry fight for you. Call us today for a free consultation at (888) 444-7210.

Our Locations
Attorney Scott Henry: Criminal & DUI Defense