DUI checkpoints can pop up very quickly in heavily traveled roadways, especially on holidays and on weekends. These checkpoints are very much legal, but you do have rights if you are stopped. The following are some things to keep in mind if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint:
Things You Should Do At a DUI Checkpoint:
Once you are stopped at a checkpoint, pull over slowly to the shoulder of the road. This stop may be completely random, as this is a regular practice of law enforcement. Do not panic or become worried. If you are not impaired, you should not have any problems.
You should remain calm and collected. Listen to what the officer is saying and remain polite. If you are asked for any information, such as your drivers' license or registration, provide it to him or her. If you do not, you could raise the officer's suspicion and cause more issues for yourself.
Things You Should Not Do At a DUI Checkpoint:
One of the first things you should not do if you approach a DUI checkpoint is violate any traffic laws. This includes illegal U-turns, speeding, or not following the officer's order to pull over. If you appear to be trying to get away from the checkpoint, chances are you going to look very suspicious.
Avoid incriminating yourself if you are pulled over. If the police ask you whether or not you have been drinking, you do have the right to decline to answer. Outside of providing the requested information like your license and registration, you have to right to not answer any questions. If you tell the officer that you have only had one drink, that statement can and will be used against you. You can also decline a field sobriety test.
In addition, you do not have to provide a breath test if you have not been arrested. However, you can be penalized if you refuse once you are arrested. It is not recommended to refuse a breath test once you have been placed under arrest, because it can ultimately incriminate you. It would be best to consult with your attorney before taking a breath test.
DUI checkpoints can be intimidating, as they are quite the setup. There will be multiple officers there with car lights flashing. If you have not been drinking, you do not have anything to worry about. However, the presence of a checkpoint can be nerve wracking, so be calm and know your rights. For additional information, contact an attorney at a law firm like Thomas & Associates, PC.