DUI checkpoint on Route 7, Sept. 5

Thanks in part to a state grant, Wilton police will conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday, Sept. 5 in conjunction with Norwalk police. Police say the checkpoint will be on Route 7, but declined to further specify its location.

According to police, “signage will be posted in the area advising of the checkpoint. A number of officers will be participating in this.”

Seventy-five percent of the cost will be covered by a state grant connected to a national DUI enforcement program in operation around Labor Day.

Checkpoints are legal in Connecticut and 38 other states because they help keep roads safer by deterring motorists from driving drunk.

However, police officers stationed at road blocks have limited enforcement power, according to the nonprofit Flex Your Rights organization.

“Though police are permitted to stop you briefly, they may not search you or your car unless they have probable cause that you’re under the influence or you agree to the search. As such, you are not required to answer their questions or admit to breaking the law,” a document published by the organization reads.

While motorists are technically allowed to pull a legal U-turn and avoid any police checkpoint, Florida defense attorney Lysa Clifton has said on her website such a decision is a dangerous tactic.

“If they have other reasons and justifications for pulling you over in addition to listing the U-turn, they may have enough combined to meet” a reasonable suspicion or probable cause requirement “to conduct a lawful stop of your vehicle,” she says.