Do DUI Roadblocks Work?

During “high risk” periods like the 4th of July Holiday or New Year’s Eve, one of the major concerns of law enforcement agencies all over the country is to intercept drunk drivers effectively. DUI roadblocks happen to one of several other effective methods of DUI enforcement.

How Does A DUI Checkpoint Point Work?

If you happen to be driving down the street, regardless of whether you are drunk or not, you may arrive at check point or roadblock where you are signaled by a police offer to pull over. Such a roadblock is usually a DUI roadblock, and police officers use it to gauge whether or not a driver has been drinking.

If a police offer signals you to pull over at a DUI roadblock, you will most likely be asked to stay in your vehicle. You will be asked to provide your license and registration, and then you may be asked to answer some questions, such as whether or not you have been driving. If your movements or voice raise the police officer’s suspicion that you might be drunk, you may then be asked to step out of your vehicle and a field sobriety test will likely be conducted.

Do DUI Roadblocks Really Work?

According to reports by the IIHS, i.e. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in Washington, DC and the rest of the fifty states where the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08, out of all fatally wounded drivers, at least 33% of them have a BAC above the legal limit. Moreover, according to another estimate by the IIHS, in 2009 alone it would have been possible to prevent more than 7,400 deaths if the BACs of all drivers had been below 0.08. That is why the IIHS believes DUI roadblocks are an effective method of catching drunk drivers and stopping anyone who might be drunk from driving.

According to another estimate by the IIHS, alcohol-related vehicular accidents can be reduced almost 20% through well-publicized DUI roadblocks. At the moment, there are DUI roadblocks in Washington, DC and thirty-eight other states, the frequency and number of these roadblocks varies from one state to another. For instance, in Maryland and Virginia, DUI roadblocks are conducted on a weekly basis, while in Washington, DC, these roadblocks are conducted once or twice every month.

Use Of DUI Roadblocks Favored By Safety Agencies

Along with the IIHS, the use of DUI roadblocks across the country is also favored and supported by the NHTSA, i.e. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Back in 2011, it was claimed by the IIHS that law enforcement agencies should use DUI roadblocks more widely as an effective method of deterring and preventing drunk driving. The IIHS claimed that if the police hold well-publicized DUI roadblocks frequently, over adequately long periods of time, it will lead to the general assumption among motorists that impaired drivers are being cracked down. This way, people will dissuaded from driving if they are drunk.


It may be true that all drunk drivers might not be deterred by DUI checkpoints nor could DUI roadblocks put a complete end to drunk driving. However, based on research it is apparent that they can be helpful. Driving under the influence is an issue on a national levels, so the more effective means law enforce has to deter and potentially prevent DUIs the better.