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Are New Mexico state police DUI checkpoints legal?

New Mexico police often use saturation patrol to deter traffic violations and drunk driving. This type of patrol includes a higher-than-usual number of patrol officers on duty. They also use sobriety checkpoints to try to catch drunk drivers, leaving many people wondering if such activities are legal.

In this state, under federal and state law, sobriety checkpoints are legal. This means that police can set up roadblocks at predetermined locations. They can then conduct random DUI checks on any driver passing through the checkpoint. This is quite different that normal traffic stops, where a police officer must have reasonable cause to make the stop.

A driver’s rights are always protected during a DUI checkpoint

The only information a driver must provide at a DUI checkpoint is name, driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. A driver may decline a breath test or field sobriety test, just like during a traffic stop. Also, in New Mexico, police must provide public notice of a planned sobriety checkpoint and must predetermine a format, such as stopping every other car or every three cars.

Defense options regarding DUI charges

If a person is taken into police custody and charged with DUI after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in New Mexico, he or she must be provided an opportunity to obtain legal support. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the details of a case and recommend the most viable defense options. Experienced support is often the key to obtaining a positive outcome in court.