A sobriety checkpoint is a prearranged area where authorities stop and inspect drivers for signs of intoxication. Law enforcement officers can conduct breath tests and field sobriety tests, including the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
Sobriety checkpoints have been found unconstitutional in various states. Knowing your rights at a sobriety checkpoint can help you protect your rights in the event of A DUI arrest.
You can turn around if you spot a checkpoint ahead, contrary to popular belief. You must, however, check that the U-turn is lawful. When turning back to evade a checkpoint, you cannot break the laws of the road. If you do, the authorities will have reasonable cause to stop and question you. If you decide to skip a checkpoint, be sure you do so lawfully.
When you are stopped at a checkpoint, the officer may begin questioning you about your plans for the night. This is not just a way to check for intoxication; it also offers the possibility of self-incrimination. It is best to remain silent. At a sobriety checkpoint, all you have to do is present the relevant documents (driver’s license, registration, and insurance) and, if necessary, take a breath test. Although you are technically not required to undergo the breath test, refusing to do so will result in a variety of consequences, including the suspension of your driver’s license.
You may feel uneasy declining to speak with the cops, or you may believe that refusing to answer their inquiries makes you appear more guilty. Keep in mind, though, that whatever you say can be used against you. It is advisable to avoid answering questions even if you are sober.
Because the police will not remind you of your right to remain silent during a sobriety checkpoint, it is imperative to remember your power to exercise it. Only when a suspect is being interrogated may Miranda cautions be given. Because sobriety checkpoints aren’t considered interrogations, they don’t require a warning.
It is crucial to act quickly when you are arrested at a sobriety checkpoint. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner your legal team can get to work putting together a strong defense. Another important step is to jot down all you remember about the checkpoint and your detention. Over time, your memory may fade or become distorted; documenting the occurrence as soon as possible after it occurred might aid your case in the future.