How to Handle DUI Checkpoints: A Guide for Drivers
We at The Law Office of James Novak proudly serve drivers throughout the greater Phoenix area who have been charged with drunk driving. Having a strong DUI defense lawyer is crucial for fighting charges and getting them dropped. Your attorney can also provide valuable information about penalties and other factors related to drunk driving cases.
A number of people are arrested at sobriety checkpoints set up by police at major thoroughfares and at different times of year. In many cases, these arrests might have been preventable. With that in mind, here are some tips on what to do when you encounter a sobriety checkpoint.
Do Not Try to Evade the Checkpoint If You Are Approaching It
If you notice a sobriety checkpoint up ahead that is unavoidable, do not make a U-turn and try to drive away. The officers in charge of the checkpoint may radio other law enforcement in the area to keep an eye out for your vehicle. Evading a checkpoint in this fashion shows reasonable suspicion of intoxication or other dubious activities.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself By Trying to Talk Your Way Out of It
One of the worst things that you can do is try to talk your way out of the sobriety checkpoint. This kind of nervousness and desperation can serve as a cue for officers who are looking for signs of inebriation or paranoia. When pulled over, be sure to remain collected and tell any passengers in the vehicle as well to remain quiet and to not address the officer unless they're spoken to.
Do as You Are Told to Avoid a Difficult Interaction
Resisting or refusing simple requests like providing your license and registration can make a routine stop much more antagonistic and likely to result in an arrest. Being difficult like this gives officers reasonable suspicion with regard to intoxication. If you are pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, be sure to comply with reasonable requests from the police officer.
Keep In Mind You May Not Be Checked for Sobriety
Just because you are at a sobriety checkpoint does not mean you will be asked to take a sobriety test. At a busy checkpoint, officers may simply be looking for signs of potential intoxication or suspicious activity, which will then be a reason for them to conduct a sobriety test on a driver.
If you do have to take a breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test, be sure to comply and to follow instructions closely. Refusal to comply with these requests can lead to self-incrimination and more severe penalties that will affect your ability to drive as normal.
Remain Calm Throughout the Entire Process
We can't stress this enough: remain calm throughout the entire stop.
While the situation may be stressful even if you are sober, being as calm as possible throughout this process will improve your chances of passing through the checkpoint without any problems.
Get in Touch with a Criminal Defense Lawyer Following an Arrest
If you are arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, it's important to get a skilled attorney on your side so you can look into your legal options. Our team will note the circumstances of your arrest and determine if your legal rights and/or Constitutional protections were violated in some way.
Learn more About Your Legal Rights and Options
For more information about drunk driving charges and all of your legal rights and protections, be sure to contact our DUI and criminal defense law firm today. We at The Law Office of James Novak will fight diligently for you.