A very controversial tactic that police use are DUI checkpoints. Also referred to as sobriety checkpoints, are the most common roadblocks you will run into. Although constitutionally questionable, DUI checkpoint is a useful tactic for police. These checkpoints serve multiple purposes for law enforcement. During these stops, officers have a chance to check tags and licenses, an opportunity to look inside the vehicle and catch a quick sniff of the driver’s breath. When drivers see these checkpoints, common sense and logic seem to go right out of the window. Learning how to handle yourself at one of these checkpoints can be vital to you in the future.
Many drivers tend to work themselves up when around law enforcement, even in cases when the driver has done nothing wrong. It is important to remember that your constitutional rights still apply even at a DUI checkpoint. Be polite, but do not become overly friendly or talkative; you are not required to give any information not readily available in your driver’s license, car registration, or insurance. Becoming unduly conversational can raise an officer’s suspicion and cause you to peak their interest. Standing out from the crowd, especially at a DUI checkpoint is not a good thing. The more you blend in, the better.
Most people believe you have to be drunk in order to be arrested for drunk driving. However, this is not the case. It is possible to be arrested for drunk driving while not being drunk. Anything you say, even the smallest admission of guilt can be your downfall. “But officer, I only had two beers with dinner” to you this may seem like a harmless statement because two beers to you may seem like nothing. However, to the officer, this can be a game changer. If you had not provided this information to the officer, they would be less likely to pursue a DUI charge. Before you admitted to drinking earlier in the night, the cop could only make a DUI arrest based on your driving or mannerisms. Officers at times can be hesitant to make DUI arrest solely based on suspicion because they can be hard to prove.
Have Your Car Organized At a DUI Checkpoint
The last thing you want to do at DUI checkpoint is be fumbling around for your registration and insurance. Being disorganized looking for your paperwork is not good for the situation, let alone not being able to find it. The cop can become annoyed and less likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
At a DUI checkpoint cops will also glance into other areas of the car such as your back seat. If the back of your car is messy with clothes and other things it can look like you are trying to hide something. Although the mess in the back seat can be completely innocent, it can raise a cops suspicions. From their point of view, a messy back seat creates a lot of hiding places. The cop can then request to search your vehicle if they feel they have probable cause to do so.
Choose Your Battles Carefully During a DUI Checkpoint
The last thing that you want to do is get into an argument with a police officer. You’ll never win an argument with a police officer. So make sure you choose your battles carefully or else you could end up making the situation a lot worse than it already is.
Showing Respect to a Police Officer At a DUI Checkpoint
When you reach a DUI checkpoint, it is very important that you show respect to the police. There’s always something on the news every day about police brutality, but stop and ask yourself; what do police officers go through every day? Every day when a police officer puts on their uniform, they risk their lives not knowing if they’ll come back home alive. Police officers always put themselves in harm’s way for our protection. That is why you face a police officer at a DUI checkpoint you need to show some respect. If you arrive at a DUI checkpoint with a very aggressive attitude, you’ve sealed your fate. Furthermore, there’s a high chance that it won’t end up well. So do yourself a favor and show respect to an officer it could make the difference between a smooth or a bad situation.
Contract S. Joshua Macktaz, for a consultation if you’ve been faced with a DUI.