Legal Professional?
Build Your Business

What to Expect at Cleveland DUI Checkpoints



Police first started setting up Cleveland DUI checkpoints in 1989 as an enforcement tool to help curb drunk driving. DUI checkpoints are zones where police officers pull over vehicles and screen the drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol. In Cleveland, this crime is known as OVI, or operating a vehicle under the influence.

You may be wondering what to expect when entering Cleveland DUI checkpoints. This article will explain how such checkpoints work.

Location of Cleveland DUI Checkpoints

DUI checkpoints in Cleveland are always established at locations that have long-term histories of alcohol-related incidents of impaired driving or alcohol-related accidents.

Once police have researched the location and established a need for a checkpoint, they will begin planning the logistics of the checkpoint. This includes making staffing decisions.

Notice of Cleveland DUI Checkpoints

A week before Cleveland DUI checkpoints are established, police provide public notice. In this notice, police will provide a general time, date and location for the checkpoints.

A few hours before the site is established, another notice goes out that details the specific location of the checkpoint and notes when it will begin and end.

In advance of the checkpoint's becoming operational, police will erect large reflectorized signs along the side of the road where the checkpoint will be. Once the checkpoint is operational, marked police cars are placed by these signs. If a driver were to want to avoid a checkpoint, he would have to turn his vehicle around before passing these signs.

The checkpoint itself is marked off by traffic cones and is lit by the use of portable lights, flares and police car emergency lights.

Entering Cleveland DUI Checkpoints

When you enter Cleveland checkpoints, you will either be stopped by an officer or signaled to pass through the checkpoint. Several factors affect which vehicles are stopped, including traffic volume. What matters for the officers is that the pattern of stopping vehicles is uniformly random.

If you are one of the drivers who get pulled over, the law enforcement officer will observe you for signs of alcohol impairment, such as slurred speech or an inability to maintain focus. If you do not exhibit any such symptoms, you will be ushered through the zone. If you do exhibit signs of alcohol impairment, you will be taken to a secured screening area.

The screening area is a separate space within Cleveland DUI checkpoints. At the screening area, the officer will administer field sobriety tests. These tests may include:

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

If you fail to complete these tasks, an officer may arrest you on suspicion of driving drunk in Cleveland. You may also be asked to subject to a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer is a device that can gauge your blood-alcohol content (BAC) by taking a reading of your breath. Failure to submit to a breathalyzer test may result in the suspension of your license.

Getting Arrested at Cleveland DUI Checkpoints

If the checkpoint police determine that you are too impaired by alcohol to drive, you will be placed under arrest and taken into police custody.

If this happens to you, you will want to hire a Cleveland DUI lawyer to help you understand your legal options and represent you in court.

You can use a site like Attorneys.com to find a Cleveland DUI attorney. Whether you received your DUI in Shaker Heights, Euclid, Parma or another area of the city, Attorneys.com can connect you to at least one area lawyer. Just fill out the form online, or call 1-877-913-7222. After answering a few questions, Attorneys.com will provide you with the contact information for one or more DUI attorneys near you. The attorney will contact you within two business days, or you can reach out to him at your own convenience.