Regardless of where you're driving, there's a possibility you could find yourself funneled into a DUI checkpoint. If this happens, your heart will begin to race and your mind will think the worst. This holds true even if you've only consumed one drink.
The biggest concern with a DUI checkpoint is that you'll do something that gives the officer more reason to believe you're under the influence. Of course, if you've been drinking, the chance of making a mistake is much greater.
Here are five DUI checkpoint slip-ups to avoid:
- Making an illegal U-turn. You see a DUI checkpoint ahead, so you immediately turn around and speed away in the other direction. This sounds like the perfect plan, until you realize that you broke the law and an officer is on your tail. It's legal to make a turn to avoid a checkpoint, but you're not permitted to break the law while doing so.
- Erratic driving. Sober or not, any erratic driving is a red flag that something is wrong. For example, if you're stopping and starting and moving all over your lane, the officer at the checkpoint may have reason to believe you're under the influence.
- Talking back to the officer. Forget about whether or not you are sober or drunk. You shouldn't talk back to an officer for any reason. Even if they can't arrest you for DUI, they can take you to the station for other things, such as disturbing the peace.
- Open alcohol container in your vehicle. Believe it or not, this does happen from time to time. Even if a passenger is the one who's drinking, it's still against the law. It also gives the officer more reason to believe you're under the influence.
- Complaining about your legal rights. You may feel compelled to tell the officer that a DUI checkpoint is illegal or that you don't have to stop. This makes you look bad, as checkpoints are legal. You're better off acting in a respectful and friendly manner.
If you're arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, watch what you say. You don't want to talk too much, as the information you share can haunt you in the future.
Once you understand your charges, you can then review the incident and look forward with the idea of implementing the right defense strategy.