U-Turn to Avoid DWI/DUI Checkpoint Creates Reasonable Suspicion for a Stop

Last year, the New Mexico Court of appeals ruled in State v. Anaya ruled that a legal U-turn prior to a DWI/DUI checkpoint at a sign announcing the checkpoint provides no more than a generalized suspicion of DWI/DUI.

Without more, the Court of Appeals determined that a U-turn alone prior to a checkpoint is insufficient to create reasonable suspicion for the stop of the driver, and an ensuing DWI/DUI investigation. As a result, the DWI/DUI conviction in the case was reversed.

The Supreme Court of New Mexico has now overturned that ruling.

The Court ruled that the circumstances surrounding the U-turn suggested evasion of the checkpoint and provided the reasonable suspicion for the stop. As a result, the conviction was reinstated.

The state of the law after the Supreme Court ruling in State v. Anaya is that making a U-turn in proximity to a DWI/DUI checkpoint is grounds for a stop. In fact, it should be assumed that any discernible evasive action to avoid a checkpoint will result in the stop of your vehicle.

The Supreme Court‘s ruling coupled with the new mapping technology for more effectively establishing DWI/DUI checkpoints makes drinking and driving a very high risk endeavor. The new technology will allow law enforcement to identify the highest yielding checkpoints. The new level of effectiveness of these checkpoints will make avoiding them even more difficult. Avoiding them at the scene will result in a stop.

A DWI/DUI conviction in New Mexico has severe consequences. The DWI/DUI process is long and stressful even if you do win your case. Do yourself a favor and find a designated driver. It just is not worth it.

DISCLAIMER

Related Reading:
Evasion of DWI Checkpoint is a Basis for Investigatory Stop
DWI/DUI Hotspots: Police to Use Mapping to Establish DWI/DUI Checkpoints
DWI Roadblocks Growing in Frequency in New Mexico and are Difficult to Challenge