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Prom Weekend Means More DUI Checkpoints in Pennsylvania

Going to prom is one of those experiences that almost every teenager looks forward to all year long. Unfortunately, for some minors, it’s also an invitation to illegally consume alcohol.

Pennsylvania law enforcement officials are well aware of the fact that drinking alcohol can be a part of prom weekend, and so in recent years, they’ve ramped up their policing throughout the state this time of the year. This means that prom-goers can expect to encounter an increased number of DUI checkpoints, as they did this past May.

What is a DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoints are mandatory highway stops in which officers can screen drivers for signs of impairment. Funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, these stops are meant to reduce drunk driving and increase public safety. Often, more DUI checkpoints are established during times of increased drinking, such as on holidays or after popular sporting events. Prom is another one of these occasions.

These checkpoints are highly visible stops, and officers use a system to determine which drivers to check — meaning they cannot target individuals based on characteristics like their age, attire or condition of their vehicle. For example, if the DUI checkpoint is designed to stop every third car, officers must conduct the stop exactly this way, and not deviate from the established plan.

Occasionally, however, officers will violate the strict standards required for DUI checkpoints. They may abandon their system or threaten certain drivers with arrest if they do not admit to drinking. When this happens, officers could be in violation of the law, and any evidence they collect could be considered inadmissible in court.

If you have been arrested as part of a Pennsylvania DUI checkpoint, you may have legal options. To learn more, speak with skilled criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman right away.

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