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What to Expect at Kansas City DUI Checkpoints



One method police use to catch drunk drivers in Kansas City is by establishing Kansas City DUI checkpoints. At DUI checkpoints, Missouri law enforcement officers can pull over drivers at random and screen them for alcohol impairment. If there is enough evidence to deem a driver impaired, the officers will make an arrest.

This article will explain what you can expect at Kansas City DUI checkpoints. If you are placed under arrest at such a checkpoint, you should contact a Kansas City DUI lawyer to help you understand your legal options.

Establishing Kansas City DUI Checkpoints

There are many rules placed on the establishment of DUI checkpoints. Before police can establish Kansas City DUI checkpoints, they must first carefully choose a location.

The location of a DUI checkpoint must be an area that has had a long-term history of incidents of impaired driving or alcohol-related crashes. Once the location has been identified, law enforcement officers will begin planning the logistics of the checkpoint.

A week prior to the establishment of the checkpoint, officials will provide the public with a general notice. This notice will detail the general time, date and location of the Kansas City DUI checkpoint.

A few hours before the site is established, a more detailed notice will be issued to the public. This notice will specify the exact location of the checkpoint and when it will begin and end.

Identifying Kansas City DUI Checkpoints

There are several clear markers located in and around the checkpoint that signal to drivers they are approaching a DUI checkpoint.

First, you will notice large road signs identifying the line that establishes where the checkpoint begins. By the time the checkpoint is operational, police cars will be parked by these signs.

Next, you will notice the large portable light systems within the checkpoint. In addition, police cars will be within the checkpoint, some of which may have their emergency lights on. Some Kansas City DUI checkpoints also use flares and cones to mark off different lanes within the checkpoint.

Entering Kansas City DUI Checkpoints

Once you cross the road signs identifying the checkpoint zone, you must drive through the checkpoint. However, you are able to turn around and bypass the checkpoint as long as you do so before you cross the signs.

Upon entering the checkpoint, an officer will either pull you to the side or wave you through to pass through the checkpoint. This is because not all drivers are screened at DUI checkpoints. Instead, officers use a uniformly random pattern to pull over drivers and screen them for intoxication.

If you are pulled to the side, an officer will search for signs of alcohol impairment, such as slurred speech or an inability to focus. If he believes these signs are present, he will take you to a separate screening area for additional roadside testing.

Next, an officer will administer a field sobriety test. These tests may entail:

  • Standing on one foot
  • Walking in a straight line, turning and then walking back
  • Following a light with your eyes while keeping your head and neck still

If you do poorly on the field sobriety test, an officer may place you under arrest on suspicion of driving while under the influence, a crime that is known as driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in Kansas City.

The officer may also administer a breathalyzer test to gauge your blood-alcohol content (BAC). BAC is the measure of alcohol in your blood. A breathalyzer is a device that can determine your BAC by analyzing your breath. If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test, you may have your license immediately suspended.

Kansas City DUI Checkpoint Arrests

If you were allowed to pass through the checkpoint initially or passed the DUI screening, then you are free to continue past the checkpoint. However, if you are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you will be taken into police custody.

If you are placed under arrest for DUI, you should contact a Kansas City criminal defense lawyer. Whether you received your DUI in Hyde Park, Pendleton Heights, Union Hill or another area of Kansas City, Attorneys.com can connect you to at least one area attorney. Just fill out the form on this site, or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will provide you with the contact information of one or more Kansas City criminal defense lawyers. The lawyer will contact you within two business days, or you can contact him at your own convenience.