We’ve all been there, it’s a holiday weekend and you’re on your way home from a BBQ with friends, when a DUI checkpoint pops up. Considering the prospects if you’ve been drinking can be nerve-racking nonetheless. Having a designated driver is the best decision you can make for the safety of yourself and others on the road.

BAC: When You Drank More Than You Thought

When blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than .08%, you risk receiving a DUI. You may be surprised to know that reaching .08% BAC takes little effort. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, so it may be difficult to know when you’ve reached your limit if you aren’t careful.

  • A 140-pound woman who consumes 3 drinks is well over the legal driving limit reaching .11%
  • A man, weighing 180 pounds reaches a BAC of .08% after consuming 4 drinks

Sobriety Tests

Checkpoints are put in place on holidays and weekends where it is anticipated that there will be a large number of drunk drivers on the road. Drunk drivers were responsible for an average of 28 deaths a day in 2016.

A sobriety test occurs when law enforcement suspects that a person has been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A Breathalyzer, also known as a chemical test, may be administered to the driver. This is when either your breath or urine are tested to check your blood alcohol concentration.

In a sobriety test, the driver will be required to pass three different tests that check their ability to function cognitively.

  1. Checking the driver’s eyes by having them track an object. Police are looking to see their eyes can track an object. A telltale sign of drinking occurs when the eyes drift away, unable to hold the gaze of the object.
  2. The driver will be asked to stand with one leg about 6 inches off the ground for 30 seconds.
  3. In the walk and turn test, police require the driver to walk in a straight line for several steps from heel to toe.

When conducting these tests, police are looking to see if you are swaying, whether you can take direction, if you are using your arms for balance, etc. According to research, 83% of people who do not pass at least two of the above often have a BAC above .08%.

Although it can be tempting to think you are okay after a few drinks, it is never a good decision. Getting behind the wheel could not only put yourself at risk, it could also have an impact on those you share the road with. If you find yourself at a checkpoint and are charged with a DUI, contacting a knowledgeable DUI lawyer Salt Lake City UT residents trust will be beneficial in navigating the legal process.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into DUI checkpoints.


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