With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be planning some fun festivities with your friends, colleagues or family members. If your celebrations include beer, wine or liquor, though, you must be careful not to operate a vehicle while impaired. Remember, Ohio law imposes some harsh penalties for violations of the OVI law.

Police officers in Ohio regularly erect sobriety checkpoints around the Buckeye State. While the effectiveness of these roadblocks is open to debate, you may eventually come across one. Accordingly, you should understand how sobriety checkpoints typically unfold.

A bit of warning 

Usually, sobriety checkpoints do not pop up out of nowhere. On the contrary, officers must give motorists some advance notice of the checkpoint. To do so, they often erect a temporary sign. Furthermore, because officers regularly set up roadblocks near places where motorists typically drive drunk, you may be able to guess where checkpoints are likely to appear.

A neutral approach 

When an officer performs an ordinary OVI stop, he or she first must have the suspicion that you are doing something wrong. The same is not true for sobriety checkpoints. Instead, officers simply stop either everyone who passes a specific point in the road or a random selection of those that do.

A minor inconvenience 

OVI roadblocks should not overly inconvenience motorists. Therefore, officers should stop your car for just enough time to determine if your blood alcohol concentration is above Ohio’s 0.08% legal limit. While you must provide your driver’s license and vehicle registration during the stop, you do not have to make other statements. You also do not have to consent to a search of your car.

You probably want to make it to 2020 without worrying about an OVI arrest. As such, you should include finding a sober ride home in your holiday planning. Nonetheless, by understanding what usually happens at OVI checkpoints, you can minimize your chances of spending a holiday in jail.