Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver, about one death every 51 minutes (CDC). Thankfully, there are measures that can help prevent injuries and deaths from alcohol-impaired driving.
Drunk driving is a serious concern in Nevada, and police agencies are always hard at work to remind retailers and beverage servers to do their part to make sure patrons are not over served, and at risk for getting behind the wheel. Another one of the front line defenses used to combat drunk drivers on Nevada roads is the use of sobriety (DUI) checkpoints. These are locations where law enforcement officers are stationed roadside to check drivers for signs of impairment. Many jurisdictions utilize sobriety checkpoints as part of their larger drunk driving deterrence programs.
Instructors at TAM® of Nevada often receive questions from students in our classes about the legality of sobriety checkpoints. The fact is sobriety checkpoints are legal and useful in Nevada, and they are not going away anytime soon.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 38 states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands all conduct sobriety checkpoints (GHSA.org). Further, the Las Vegas Review Journal recently published an article explaining the legality of sobriety checkpoints in Nevada. They point out that checkpoints are completely legal as long as they follow specific requirements established by Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 484.B570. To read the full explanation, refer to the article, “Ask a Lawyer: DUI checkpoints – Are they legal and what are your rights?”
As a beverage service professional, you have a moral responsibility to support law enforcement efforts to prevent drunk driving – sobriety checkpoints and other tactics. What can you do help prevent customers from driving while impaired? The first defense for sales professionals is a thorough knowledge of local and state laws, and mandatory alcohol awareness training from TAM® of Nevada. For more tips on how to help prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel, check out our blog post “Are You Doing All You Can to Prevent Drunk Driving?”
- Impaired Driving: Get the Facts – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Sobriety Checkpoint Laws – Governors Highway Safety Association
- Nevada Revised Statutes – 484B.570 – Administrative roadblock: Establishment; minimum requirements
- Ask a Lawyer: DUI checkpoints – Are they legal and what are your rights? – Las Vegas Review Journal