Are DWI Checkpoints Legal in NJ?
Can police legally stop you at a checkpoint? Are they violating your rights? Are checkpoints just a money grab? Here are the definitive answers.
If you watch enough YouTube videos of police checkpoint stops, you may think that they are illegal and that you don't have to comply with officers. Wrong.
Today, the NJ State Police announced two planned DWI checkpoints and spelled out pretty clearly how the stops are to work. Here's what you need to know:
Don't try to be cute.
[Don't use] unsavory tactics such as maneuvering out of line, refusing to roll down your window, refusing to provide documents, etc. Driving in New Jersey is a privilege, and the courts have recognized that checkpoints are perfectly legal here in the Garden State.
No, checkpoints are not a "money grab."
The purpose of DWI checkpoints is to make our roads safer and reduce crashes attributed to driving under the influence. If you’re not driving under the influence, you have nothing to fear. Do people sometimes get arrested for drug-related offenses during checkpoints? Sure. Is that bad? Because if getting drugs off of the streets is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
What are troopers looking for when you are stopped?
The troopers will be looking for drivers with signs of impairment. So, here’s an idea: If you plan on drinking, have a designated driver, arrange for other transportation, or stay where you are. It’s not worth the risk of hurting or killing yourself, a friend, a loved one, or an innocent motorist.
The State Police went on to say to be very wary of taking advice from "Google lawyers."