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Are drunk driving checkpoints legal in North Carolina? 

You may have heard of controversial drunk driving checkpoints. The goal, officials say, is to keep the roads safe by simply talking to every driver who comes through the checkpoint to see if they are impaired, rather than waiting to see signs of impairment and making a more traditional traffic stop. 

Those who oppose the use of these checkpoints often say that they constitute an illegal stop. After all, the police are supposed to have reasonable suspicion to stop you long before giving you a breath test or asking you to step out of the car for field sobriety tests. Doesn’t making every driver talk to the police infringe upon their rights?

With all of this in mind, you may be wondering whether or not checkpoints are legal in NorthCarolina. Every state sets its own laws on the use of these measures. 

Checkpoints are legal in the state

In short, yes, the police can use checkpoints in North Carolina. Despite the fact that many residents feel that these should be illegal, the courts have not made it so, and they will see DUI cases stemming from checkpoint interactions. 

No matter how you feel about the use of these checkpoints, you should always be civil and polite when passing through them. Do not refuse to cooperate with the officers or try to go around — or through — the checkpoint without stopping. Things like that are just red flags that are likely to lead to an arrest. 

If you do go through the checkpoint as instructed and you get arrested on DUI charges anyway, be sure you understand your legal options. The smartest decision you can make is to assert your right to remain silent and call an attorney.