DUI checkpoints can be immense sources of anxiety for motorists, especially if the police should suspect them of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, since sobriety checkpoints were ruled to be constitutional by the United States Supreme Court, they are a fact of life and must be dealt with. Aside from the obvious advice of not drinking and driving, there are ways that drivers can behave at sobriety checkpoints to protect their rights and stay out of trouble.
- Stay calm: Once you have been stopped, do not panic and keep a level head. Be polite, provide your license and registration when asked without protest, and keep your hands on the wheel where the officer can see them. If asked to step out of the vehicle, do so.
- Remember your rights: The police may ask you several leading questions such as where you were heading or whether you have had anything to drink. Aside from providing the officer with your basic information, you do not have to answer any of the officer’s questions. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law if you are arrested, so it is best to simply inform them that you are exercising your Fifth Amendment rights and stay quiet.
- Refuse any field sobriety tests: Likewise, you do not have to submit to any roadside sobriety tests that an officer may request and may politely refuse without penalty. These tests are designed to make people fail and can only hurt you in the long run.
- Deny a vehicle search: Without a warrant or probable cause, officers need consent to conduct a search of you or your vehicle. It might feel uncomfortable to say “no” to a police officer, but it is well within your rights to do so. The police may imply consequences for noncompliance, but it is important to remain courteous and remember your rights.
- Contact an attorney: In the event that you should be arrested for driving under the influence at a DUI checkpoint, it is imperative you contact a powerful lawyer as soon as possible to protect your future and driving privileges. An attorney can ensure your rights are protected and minimize your chances of conviction.
At Joshua T. Crain, Attorneys at Law, our Murfreesboro DUI lawyer has fought to defend the rights of countless accused clients throughout Rutherford County and can provide the aggressive advocacy you need to guard your freedom. To find out more about what our firm can do for you, contact us online or call our office today at (615) 200-9409.