In Virginia, the police are permitted to set up a DUI checkpoint to check for drunk drivers as long as certain rules are followed. These include publicizing the checkpoint before it is set up and using a mathematical formula, such as every fifth vehicle, in deciding which ones to stop. If you have not consumed any alcohol before driving, you may not be worried about being stopped. But what should you do if you know that you had been drinking?
Take These Steps to Protect Yourself at a DUI Checkpoint
The actions that you take if you are stopped at a checkpoint can have ramifications on what happens to you and the strength of your DUI defense if you are arrested. Here are ways that you should handle being stopped:
- Remain calm. Just because you were stopped does not mean that the police suspect you of doing anything illegal. The officer will be observing your behavior, so try to remain calm and polite.
- Do not avoid the checkpoint. Do not engage in suspicious behavior—such as turning around—to avoid the checkpoint. The police may perceive this as suspicious.
- Cooperate. It is important to cooperate with the police and supply the information requested, such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
- Do not volunteer information. You want to say as little as possible during the checkpoint stop and not offer information. Remember that any statements you make can be used against you.
- Do not agree to a field sobriety test. You do not have to agree to submit to a field sobriety test, and agreeing to one could give the police probable cause to believe that you are intoxicated—even if you are not.
Do you have further questions about your rights at a DUI checkpoint? Were you stopped and arrested for DUI at a checkpoint? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to aggressively fight the charges that you face. Call our office today to learn more about what you can expect in your criminal case and the defenses that you may be able to raise.