It doesn't matter where you're driving or the time of the day (although nighttime is more common), you could find yourself heading straight into a DUI checkpoint. As stressful as it may be, there are steps you can take to avoid trouble.
Here are six things you should never do at a DUI checkpoint:
- Drive in an erratic manner: This can include everything from changing lanes to stopping and starting. Instead of doing this, slow your vehicle and gradually move toward the checkpoint.
- Leave alcohol bottles in plain view: It's okay to transport alcohol, but it does give police the impression that you may have been drinking. If possible, keep alcohol out of plain sight while it's in your vehicle.
- Talk back to the officer: If you do this, it gives the officer more of a reason to think something is wrong. Furthermore, even if you're not arrested for driving under the influence, the officer could charge you with another crime.
- Complain about your rights: You do have legal rights as a driver, but don't tell the officer that a DUI checkpoint is illegal. Police are permitted by law to set these up, so don't attempt to explain that you don't have to comply.
- Make an illegal U-turn: Some people are in such a big hurry to escape this situation that they turn around and drive off in the other direction. You are permitted to do this, but you have to follow the rules of the road. Making an illegal U-turn gives police reason to pull you over.
- Talk too much: If you're asked a question, answer it. If you're not sure of what the officer is asking, request clarification. The last thing you want to do is say too much.
If a DUI checkpoint results in an arrest and formal charges, make sure to consult legal representation. This will help you better understand your legal rights and the next steps to take.
As frustrating as it may be to find yourself in this position, never lose sight of the fact that a DUI charge does not always result in a conviction. There are ways to fight these charges, but legal representation is a crucial first step.