How to Navigate a DUI Checkpoint

As driver in California, you’ve probably been through a DUI checkpoint at least once in your life. Police departments usually set these checkpoints up on busy weekends when they expect lots of drunk drivers, such as on 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. While a dozen states have barred checkpoints as a result of blurred lines with constitutional rights, California is not one of them. If you happen to find yourself at a DUI checkpoint, here are a few tips to help you navigate it:

  1. Avoid them, if possible. Before checkpoints are set up, they are announced online by police departments. Grab the information and avoid the area if you can.
  2. Be prepared ahead of time. Take out your license, car registration and insurance and have them readily available to hand to the police officer if they ask for them. One sign of impairment is confusion and an unsteady hand, so having your information ready is important.
  3. Turn off your radio. Police get annoyed if they have to talk over your music blaring. Turn it off while you interact with them.
  4. Do not use your phone. As you’re waiting in line at the checkpoint, do not take out your phone to make a call or text. It’s still illegal to drive and use your phone, even at a checkpoint.
  5. Do not answer questions if you don’t want to. If the police ask if you have been drinking, you have the right not to answer the question. They want to see if you exhibit slurred speech, so your best course of action is to be polite, show them your information and stay quiet.
  6. Deny field sobriety test request. If the police suspect you have been drinking, they will ask you to move your car to the side and have you perform field sobriety tests. You can decline this request without any repercussions. However, if you say no to any chemical tests, you can still be arrested and have your license automatically suspended.

Have you been arrested for drinking and driving? Contact our Modesto DUI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Mark Girdner today!

Call (209) 326-1533 for a free case evaluation.

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