Law enforcement agencies across the country rely on DUI checkpoints during holiday seasons or on weekends to find those who are breaking the law by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These checkpoints are usually set up at locations where there has been much DUI activity in the past or high traffic areas.
Many agencies maintain that the main purpose behind and checkpoint is to bring awareness to the community. At a recent DUI checkpoint near Tucson, Arizona, only 1 driver was arrested for DUI after over 350 cars were stopped. Officers working at the checkpoint commented that they still felt the checkpoint was a success as it sent a message to drivers that DUI will not be tolerated.
Stopping at a DUI checkpoint is different than being pulled over for suspected DUI. There are some specific things you can do to avoid additional charges if you are found to be driving under the influence. Here are some tips to follow should you encounter a checkpoint roadblock:
1. Approach carefully. Officers at the checkpoint have keep eyes and are on the lookout for any activity that is outside the norm.
2. Follow and obey directions given by officers as far as where to stop your car.
3. Turn down your radio and tell passengers to remain quiet. It’s important to be able to focus and concentrate and you’ll want to get rid of all distractions.
4. You do not have to roll down your window unless you are asked to.
5. Do not speak to the officers. You do not have to answer questions. You also do not have to ask questions. Many people feel the need to ask why they are being detained. Anything you say can be used against you.
6. Refuse field sobriety tests.
7. Contact your attorney if detained or arrested.
Following these steps will not always get you out of a DUI arrest, but it can help as your attorney fights to have charges dropped or punishments lightened. An experienced attorney will conduct their own investigation into the matter by reading police and witness reports. The more you can do on the front end by following the above steps will make the attorney’s job easier.
It’s always a good idea to remain polite and calm when dealing with law enforcement officers. Just because you have a plan or ideas on how to deal with DUI checkpoints doesn’t give you the right to be flippant or rude with the police. Doing so could possibly lead to further charges.