Information on DUI Checkpoints in Kansas
It's that time of year again, and as the weather continues to get nicer, you will see more and more DUI Checkpoints. The various police agencies around the area know that checkpoints are an easy way for them to hand out numerous tickets, and fill their coffers. Often times you'll see the stats on the results of a particular checkpoint in the area, here's one from a local checkpoint on 4/26/14: 308 vehicles stopped, 9 DUI's, 9 Driving While Suspended, 5 Possession of Marijuana, 1 Possession of Cocaine, 1 Resisting Arrest. That's less than 3% of cars stopped that were charged with DUI, but under the guise of a DUI Checkpoint the police were able to write up 16 other people with criminal charges as well.
The truth is that DUI checkpoints require lots of manpower, lots of money, lots of wasted time of those hundreds of people forced to sit in a line for sometimes hours, and at the end of the day studies show that they aren't actually very effective. The studies show that it's actually much more effective for police forces to send out what they call DUI Saturation Patrols. These DUI Saturation Patrols are usually a group of 5 - 10 additional officers that are put out on duty, and specifically tasked with looking for evidence of bad driving.
If you do find yourself at a DUI checkpoint, remember you do have rights. Generally the officer will ask you for your driver's license, and you do need to provide that to the officer. Other than that you have the right to refuse to cooperate with any other requests. I always recommend that people be polite to the officers, but why give up information that can only be used against you. Field Sobriety Tests aren't mandatory in Kansas, and I don't recommend that you take a test that can only be used against you.
Field Sobriety Tests are tests which include the walk and turn test, the one leg stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the alphabet test, the numbers test, etc. In Kansas you can receive a fine for refusing the preliminary breath test (PBT), but it's not a crime to refuse it. However, there are serious consequences to refusing the large breath test (Intoxilyzer 8000). The larger breath test and that rules that go with it can often be confused for the preliminary breath test. In Kansas, the larger breath test is a large machine, that will either be performed at the station or in a trailer unit at the checkpoint.
Be safe out there!