Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in the commonwealth. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a DUI conviction may cause you to lose your driving privileges, pay a steep fine and maybe even go to jail. Consequently, if you have a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%, Virginia’s legal limit, it is always advisable to stay off the road.
Life has a way of interfering with anyone’s good intentions, of course. If you have had too much to drink, you may wonder if you can turn your car to avoid going through a DUI checkpoint. The answer is generally yes, but there are some considerations you should remember.
You must make legal driving maneuvers
Usually, members of law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle. By itself, avoiding a DUI checkpoint should not give officers reasonable suspicion. If you make illegal driving maneuvers, though, officers are likely to have a legally valid reason to stop your car, truck or SUV.
You must drive responsibly
Even if you do not technically break any rule of the road, your driving may give officers reasonable suspicion to stop you. For example, you may swerve inside the lane, make an unreasonably wide turn or drive too slowly. These driving behaviors may give officers a reason to believe you may be under the influence.
There should be posted signs warning you about any DUI checkpoint you are about to encounter. Ultimately, if there is a place to turn between the signs and the checkpoint, it is probably ok to make a legal and responsible turn.