DUI checkpoints are roadblocks set up so that an Arizona patrol force can systematically and legally sift through drivers on the road to find ones that are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This article, written by a Mesa DUI attorney, goes over what to do if you find yourself stopped at a DUI checkpoint.
Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint
When you pull up to a DUI checkpoint, you will be asked to show the officer your driver’s license and registration. While it is critical that you have the current versions of these items in your vehicle at all times, it is equally critical to control your behavior and demeanor in these situations. Disorderly Conduct is a charge police officers can use for your arrest if you physically resist or refuse to comply and use offensive language toward them. To prevent unnecessary charges or arrests and save yourself the trouble of hiring a Mesa DUI attorney when you are guilty of DUI or not, remain calm and in control at a DUI checkpoint.
Arizona police officers are trained to ask strategic questions and look for signs of intoxication based on your responses. The signs they look for however can often be mistaken for nervous anxiety or fear of being interrogated when not guilty, rather than because one is intoxicated. If you are asked to step out of the car for further questioning, you must comply by law. However, you are not required to submit to a Field Sobriety Test (FST). These types of tests can be faulty and self-incriminating due to the wide variation in individual behavior and the biased judgment of police officers performing the test. Again, it is important to speak calmly and politely to any police officer or individual who asks you questions to prevent unnecessary charges being placed against you.
Though traditional traffic stops require an officer to have reasonable suspicion to investigate, the Supreme Court rules that “probable cause” is not necessary during a DUI checkpoint. While it is often inconvenient for many drivers, the state of Arizona finds value in performing DUI checkpoints because of the proven potential it has to save lives and reduce costs from losses associated with drunk driving accidents.
DUI checkpoints are usually implemented around big holidays where drunk driving is more likely to occur, but they can be set up at any time. It is court mandated that the date and location of these checkpoints be posted in advance to allow drivers to schedule travel time accordingly. While you may not always be stopped at a DUI checkpoint due to the strategic randomization with which they investigate and question drivers, it is important to know how to act at a DUI Checkpoint roadblock to avoid unnecessary suspicion.
Hiring a Mesa DUI Attorney
For more information on how you should act or respond if stopped at a DUI checkpoint, call Mesa DUI attorney Charlie Naegle. If you or a loved one have been unfairly accused of a DUI or falsely arrested, Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys is ready to help in your Mesa or Gilbert DUI court case. Charlie Naegle will defend your right to freedom and help you get your life back on track as quickly as possible.