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Monday, July 1, 2013

Your Rights While Driving Through a DUI Checkpoint

DUI Checkpoints have becoming increasingly common all over the country. DUI Checkpoints are stop points set up by the police, usually on a busy highway, in order to stop drivers passing through and check for drunk drivers and traffic violations.

If you are driving and encounter a DUI Checkpoint, the first step you should take is to have a good look at your surroundings. DUI Checkpoints should have clear signs that warn drivers that a checkpoint will be ahead. The checkpoint should be, but isn't always, strategically placed so that drivers have an alternative route to choose if they do not wish to participate in the checkpoint. Remember, you are under no obligation to go through the checkpoint. As long as you do not commit any traffic violations in avoiding the checkpoint or otherwise exhibit signs of being intoxicated, the police should not stop you.

If you do get stopped at a checkpoint, know that you have the right to remain silent. You may be asked to give the officer your license, registration, and insurance information and you should do so. If the officer asks you any other questions, you do not legally need to answer them. You are free to respond to these questions by simply but firmly asking if you are being detained. If the officer responds that you are not, you are free to go.

The best thing to do is to NOT drive if you have been drinking.

Call a friend or family member to pick you up or contact a cab company to bring you to your destination. If you are stopped at a DUI Checkpoint please remember you have a right to refuse all tests except for a chemical blood test at the police station. However, refusing these tests may result in the automatic suspension of your license along with other penalties. Remember that anything you say can be used in court!

DUI Checkpoints can be understandably nerve-wracking for drivers, but unless you are driving intoxicated the process should be quick and harmless. If you are detained for a DUI or any other reason, call an experienced Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible! The faster you retain legal assistance the more your lawyer can do to help you.

- Kevin McKernan

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