DUI checkpoints can be incredible sources of anxiety for drivers, especially if the police should suspect that they have been driving under the influence. Unfortunately, when many people find themselves stopped by the police, common sense flies out the window and they say and do things that only serve to give the police a reason to be question them further. As such, learning the law and understanding your rights can potentially make the difference between heading on your way and finding yourself in cuffs. If you should ever find yourself at a DUI checkpoint, be sure to keep the following tips in mind.
- Keep a level head: Losing your composure is only going to worsen your situation. Stay calm and polite, and provide your license and registration when asked. Keep your hands in a location visible to the police officer.
- Do not argue about probable cause: While police officers normally require some sort of reasonable suspicion that a motorist has committed a violation or crime in order to perform a traffic stop, known legally as probable cause, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the dangers of drunk driving outweigh the degree of intrusion of sobriety checkpoints. In other words, the police can stop you at a roadblock without any evidence of wrongdoing.
- Stay quiet: The police will likely ask you probing questions such as where you were going or whether you have been drinking. You do not have to answer any of their questions. Aside from providing your information, it is best to exercise your Fifth Amendment rights and simply stay silent. Anything you say during your traffic stop can be used against you and will only provide the officer with a greater reason to suspect your intoxication.
- Refuse any sobriety tests: If the police decide to continue their investigation, they may ask you to perform some physical tests. You do not have to submit to these tests and may refuse them without penalty. Field sobriety tests are designed to make people fail and will only serve to hurt you in the long run.
- Deny a vehicle search: While the police do not need probable cause to stop you at a DUI checkpoint, they do need either a warrant, probable cause, or your permission in order to search your vehicle. It is well within your rights to deny any searches the police request.
- Call a lawyer: If the police should still decide to arrest you at this point, call a lawyer as soon as you can. A skilled attorney will be able to examine the facts of your traffic stop and fight to protect your freedom and driving privileges.
Get The Sherman Law Group on Your Side
At The Sherman Law Group, our Roswell DUI attorneys have been fighting for the rights of individuals accused of drunk driving throughout the Atlanta Metro Area for more than 40 years. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), our advocates have what it takes to guard your future and minimize your chances of conviction. To find out more about how our firm can assist you, schedule a free case evaluation or call our office today at (678) 712-8561.