Build A Strong Defense
To Protect Your Rights

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. DUI
  4.  → Can you turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint in South Dakota?

Can you turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint in South Dakota?

Dealing with the police could throw you off your schedule or stress you out at the worst possible time. You don’t have the option of choosing when a police officer pulls you over for something they perceive as a traffic violation.

You will have to pull your vehicle over and wait until the officer concludes their discussion and any verification checks on their end before you can go on your way. Being able to avoid such an annoyance could save you time and anxiety.

If you spot a field sobriety checkpoint, also sometimes called a DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoint, can you turn your vehicle around? Do you have an obligation to drive through the checkpoint once you realize it is there?

The state courts support your right to change your route

Until you have interacted with police officers and they ask you to pull over, you don’t have any obligation to the checkpoint itself. If you notice the bright lights and stopped traffic of a DUI roadblock ahead, you may decide to slow down and legally maneuver your vehicle to turn around. You might also simply turn down a side street or otherwise avoid approaching the roadblock.

If you do so, your decision to drive away is not grounds for police to conduct a traffic stop on its own. The state Supreme Court has ruled on this issue before. However, an officer can follow you and pull you over if they notice other signs that might imply impaired driving, such as erratic breaking or unpredictable swerving.

Avoiding a checkpoint could help you avoid other complications

There’s a saying that when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. People tend to use the resources they have at hand to solve issues or questions that they encounter.

It is also common practice for people to perceive things differently if they expect a certain outcome. An officer might interpret your slurred speech as a sign of intoxication, rather than evidence of a medical condition or simply exhaustion. Similarly, they could interpret other actions as signs of guilt instead of evidence of anxiety or other emotional responses.

Trying to avoid an interaction with law enforcement can sometimes help you avoid arrest and possible DUI charges that might result from a misunderstanding.