You find yourself on the road, minding your business, when all of a sudden you're funneled into a DUI checkpoint. It's only natural for your nerves to kick in, especially if you have been drinking.
Although a DUI checkpoint can make for a nervous time, there's something you should always remember: Just because you proceed through a checkpoint doesn't necessarily mean you'll be arrested for driving under the influence.
Here are five things you should never do at a DUI checkpoint:
- Leave alcohol in plain view: It's good practice to never leave alcohol in plain view, such as in the backseat. Even if you're not drinking, it gives the officer the wrong impression. Also, don't drive with an open container of alcohol. If an officer sees an open beer in your cup holder, it will definitely raise suspicions.
- Don't drive erratically: You're scared about what's to come, so you begin to swerve all over the road. You're looking for a quick way out. If you do this, you look suspicious before you ever reach the checkpoint. It's best to slow down and stay in your lane.
- Talk about your legal rights: Don't tell the officer they have no right to stop your vehicle. It's this type of backtalk that will get you in trouble, as it gives police reason to believe something is wrong.
- Don't make an illegal U-turn: You get the idea of turning around before reaching the checkpoint, but you're in such a rush that you make an illegal turn. If an officer sees you, it's likely that they'll pull you over. Even if you aren't charged with driving under the influence, you'll probably receive a traffic citation.
- Don't get out of your vehicle: Pull up to the officer and let them tell you what to do. Don't put your car in park and get out. This looks suspicious and dangerous on many levels.
Even if you avoid these five mistakes at a DUI checkpoint, you could still run into trouble. While a DUI arrest is a big deal, it doesn't necessarily result in a conviction.
Once you understand what went wrong and have a clear idea of how the court process works, learn more about your legal rights and the type of defense strategy you can use.