Stopped for Evading a Roadblock?

The police love using roadblocks to check for DUI and license-related violations like driving on a suspended license. Did you know that evading a roadblock isn’t illegal in Virginia? To be legally stopped *before* you hit the roadblock, you must do something suspicious.


I’ve had this video transcribed for visitors who prefer to read the content.

Hello, I’m Andrew Flusche. One issue that comes up in a lot of traffic cases are roadblocks or check points that the police set up. So I wanted to talk to you about one issue that comes up with those roadblocks. There are a lot of legal points that come up, but one issue is what happens if a defendant turns around before coming to the roadblock.

You’re driving along, and for whatever reason you make a turn off the main road or make a u-turn away from the roadblock; can the police still legally stop you and uphold whatever they find? So if they stop you and determine that you’re intoxicated, go ahead and make a DUI arrest, or if they stop you and determine that you’re driving on a suspended license or revoked license, can they go ahead and issue a summons for that behavior?

The answer is that it’s very complicated like a lot of things in the law. There is a whole line of cases that deal with people who initiate traffic maneuvers before a roadblock. The cases differ based on a lot of factors, so I wanted to try to give you my kind of thumbnail summary of the rule.

Basically, the further away from the roadblock that you make a traffic maneuver, the more likely it’s going to be unreasonable for the officer to stop you claiming that you’re trying to evade the roadblock. And that stands to reason because if there’s a lot of turn offs and you make a maneuver a thousand feet or three football fields away from the roadblock, it’s going to be less likely that you’re trying to evade the roadblock and more likely that you’re just going about your business.

There was one case in particular where the gentleman was driving along and there was a roadblock up ahead, and the officer saw him pull into a gas station, drive through the parking lot seamlessly, and pull back out onto the road going away from the roadblock. The officer stopped him thinking he was evading the roadblock, and I can’t remember what exactly they found was wrong and the reason for the case, but the point is, the judge found that that was not a valid stop due to claiming that he was trying to evade the roadblock because it was so far away, and the gentleman didn’t pause or anything. He just simply pulled through the parking lot and changed direction.

There are other cases, however, where a defendant was within say, a hundred or two hundred feet of the roadblock and did something that’s a little bit suspicious. In some cases the defendant might have paused for a second or two and then made a turn. In some cases the defendant actually gets out of the vehicle and kind of stares at the roadblock. In those types of cases, the judges normally say that is a reasonable suspicion for the officer to actually stop you and see if you’re doing something criminal because it does give them some extra element other than just making a legal traffic maneuver.

But the cases are pretty uniform in that if all you do is make a legal traffic maneuver a good distance from the roadblock, it’s likely that it would be found to be an invalid stop of your vehicle and the end result there is that we should be able to suppress any evidence that was obtained during that stop, because that’s what we call “fruit of the poisonous tree.” If the search or the stop is invalid, everything from that should be suppressed against you in the case. Even if it’s a driving on suspended case or a DUI case, that could mean that the whole case goes out the window and you walk away from it.

Now this is obviously a case-by-case analysis. It depends on the facts of your case and exactly what you did and what the officers testify to. But if you’re stopped before you approach a roadblock then it’s definitely something that we would look into and see if we could suppress the evidence against you.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.


Contact Andrew & Fitz