Imagine this: You’re driving down the road and you spot something up ahead. You’re not sure exactly what it is at first, but you soon realize that you’re heading directly into a DUI checkpoint.
Even if you don’t have an ounce of alcohol in your system, you still have reasons for concern. You’re worried that the officer may assume you’re under the influence for no good reason. You’re worried that they’ll find something else to arrest you for.
Here are some of the steps you can take at a DUI checkpoint to calm your nerves and protect yourself:
- Proceed with caution: Once you realize that you’re driving into a DUI checkpoint, slow down and follow the officer’s orders. Regardless of your thoughts on checkpoints, you need to do what’s asked of you. Attempting to drive through a checkpoint without stopping will land you in trouble.
- Be respectful: Upon reaching your window, the officer may ask you some basic questions. In addition to requesting your license and registration, they may also ask where you are coming from and where you are going. Provide the material they request, while remaining calm throughout. Also, when answering questions, stick to the basic facts.
- Don’t slip up: It’s natural to become so flustered that you say something you regret, such as “I only had one drink a few hours ago.” Think before you speak, as anything you say can be used against you. Also, if you don’t understand or are uncomfortable answering a question, ask for clarification or decline to answer altogether.
- Don’t resist arrest: You hope it doesn’t come to this, but if the officer puts you under arrest for suspicion of DUI you should remain calm. This isn’t a time to yell or physically fight back, as doing can result in additional criminal charges.
It’s your hope that you never drive into a DUI checkpoint, but this could happen at any time. If you’re arrested and charged, don’t hesitate to learn more about your case and devise a strategy for protecting your legal rights. At this point, your time is best spent seeking a way to prevent a conviction and the associated punishment.