Say you’re driving back from visiting some friends elsewhere in Texas when you see a sign on the side of the road. It says that you’re approaching a drug checkpoint, so you need to be prepared to stop.
You’re surprised. You already know that Texas doesn’t even use sobriety checkpoints, as other states do, because local law considers them to be a violation of your constitutional rights. Are you going to need to stop? Why would they use drug checkpoints when they specifically won’t use sobriety checkpoints?
Genuine drug checkpoints do not exist
Here’s what you should know: These checkpoints are fake. They don’t exist. The reason is, as you suspected, that it’s unconstitutional to randomly stop cars just to search for drugs. Just as Texas does not use sobriety checkpoints, you are never going to find a drug checkpoint, either.
So why did you see the sign? In some cases, the police will put these signs up just to see who turns around or tries to avoid this “checkpoint” by pulling off of the road. If you do, then they look for another reason to stop you, such as an illegal U-turn, rolling through a stop sign, or one of the myriad other reasons they use. They assume you have drugs, so they’ll look for excuses to stop you and search your car without subjecting you to an illegal checkpoint.
Are you facing charges?
Tactics like this may feel underhanded and unfair, but they do see use by police departments. If you end up facing drug charges, you need to know about all of your criminal defense options.