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Prepare for drunk driving checkpoints this holiday season

The police departments across South Carolina use a variety of methods to try to stop drunk driving. They train officers to watch for signs of intoxication and they use public awareness campaigns to remind people about the dangers of driving drunk. Another method that they might use is sobriety checkpoints. These are strategically planned stops of vehicles that can help officers to detect people who are intoxicated.

There are a few points that you should remember if you are going to be driving during the busy holiday season. One is that trying to avoid a sobriety checkpoint might actually get you caught if you are driving drunk. Secondary checkpoints are sometimes used along routes commonly used to avoid the area where the primary checkpoint is located.

Another thing to remember is that sobriety checkpoints stop vehicles in a predetermined sequence. The officers might stop every fifth car or every other car. They can't stop vehicles based only on the driver's gender or race. Stopping people based on these points could actually lead to discrimination complaints.

Sobriety checkpoints play an important role in keeping drunk drivers safe. These stops can reduce drunk driving crashes by 20 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is significant because people can suffer injuries or die in this type of crash.

If you are facing a drunk driving charge due to a sobriety checkpoint this holiday season, you need to learn your options for answering the charge. This is an important part of the defense planning process, so make sure that you take it seriously.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Checkpoints," accessed Nov. 30, 2017

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