DUI Checkpoints: Know Your Rights
DUI checkpoints are becoming more and more common, yet most drivers today are unaware of their rights and unprepared on how to handle such encounters. Despite the fact that these roadblocks allow police to briefly peer into your vehicle and ask you a few routine questions, the most important thing to keep in mind is the fact that your Constitutional rights still apply.
Most arrests at DUI checkpoints are the result of drivers making poor decisions — making statements or otherwise providing “evidence” against themselves.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid arrest during a routine DUI checkpoint:
- Keep calm and be polite.
- The only information you are required to provide the officer are your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Roll down your window and have this information ready to pass along.
- The only questions you are required to answer are those pertaining to your identity – basically, your name and address. You do not have to answer any other questions.
Police officers will commonly ask you questions about where you have been, your destination, and whether you have had anything to drink. You may simply and politely decline to answer any other questions. Remember, even what you may perceive to be harmless answers to these questions can incriminate you.
It is helpful to stick with the same answer to all questions not pertaining to your identity. For example, “I prefer not to answer any further questions.” In the event the officer continues to ask questions, simply ask for your driver’s license and then ask whether you are free to leave.
- Never consent to a search of your vehicle. Without probable cause to arrest or your consent, the police may not conduct a search.
If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint, you should consult a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Our team of experienced attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC know all of the legal options and will fight to protect your rights when you are faced with a life-changing DUI conviction. Contact us today.