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The risks you face when you pass through a sobriety checkpoint

After an evening out with friends or a late business meeting, you say your goodbyes and feel perfectly confident you are sober enough to drive when you get behind the wheel. However, your sense of confidence diminishes when you see flashing lights ahead and realize you are about to pass through a sobriety checkpoint run by Kentucky law enforcement officers.

Every vehicle on the road will be asked to stop briefly so the driver can interact with a police officer. Officers will then flag certain individuals for additional screening if they have reason to suspect the driver could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. What risks do you have when pulled over as part of a sobriety checkpoint in Kentucky?

Officers could misinterpret your behavior as impairment

Do you have a stutter that flares up when you feel nervous or a condition that affects your socialization skills like anxiety? If so, officers could interpret your behavior as an indicator of impairment.

Once officers suspect you of intoxicated driving, they may misinterpret signs during a field sobriety test as well. Basically, they might hone in on minor details that support their belief you are under the influence despite professing your innocence during the encounter. Even if you explain why you behave in a certain way, they may still arrest you.

You could potentially wind up arrested and charged with a crime

If you fail a field sobriety test and either have a high blood-alcohol concentration on a chemical breath test or refuse to take the chemical breath test because you have heard how unreliable they are, officers may potentially arrest you at that point and subsequently charge you with an impaired driving offense.

You could face incarceration, fines and the loss of your license if convicted. Although you may not be able to challenge the legality of a sobriety checkpoint traffic stop because such stops are permissible under federal and state law, you may be able to challenge the evidence gathered by officers or the way that they interpreted your behavior.

Looking at the evidence against you can give you a better idea of what defense options are available to you.