Police employ many strategies for catching drunk drivers. For this reason, you need to be extremely careful any time you consume alcohol. While the best way to avoid a DUI arrest is to never drink and drive, this isn't always the approach people take.
Police often set up DUI checkpoints in an attempt to catch people who are under the influence of alcohol. With this approach, they're able to check the sobriety of a large number of people in a relatively short period of time.
Since DUI checkpoints are common, you need to know the steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are five things to do:
- Don't leave open alcohol bottles in your car: If you're stopped at a checkpoint and an officer sees an open bottle, it gives them reason to believe you're drunk.
- Slow down and stay in your lane: This isn't a time for erratic driving, such as sudden accelerations and jumping from lane to lane. Erratic driving gives the impression that something is wrong, such as having too much alcohol in your system.
- Stay calm and cooperative: You may be upset that you're moving through a DUI checkpoint. You may even feel that you're not being treated with respect. It may be frustrating, but keeping your calm and remaining cooperative will help you avoid trouble.
- Don't make an illegal U-turn: Your fear may cause you to panic, thus resulting in an illegal U-turn. The law permits you to turn around so you don't have to go through the checkpoint. However, you can't break the law to do so, as this gives police reason to stop your vehicle.
- Keep your thoughts on the law to yourself: Complaining about your legal rights won't do you any good. DUI checkpoints are legal, so you have to deal with these accordingly.
Even if you do these things, you could still find yourself under arrest for suspicion of DUI. This is a serious charge with potential penalties such as jail time, fine, community service and loss of license.
If you find yourself in this position, determine which DUI defense strategy gives you the best chance of avoiding a conviction. The way you approach your case can be the difference between avoiding a punishment and having your life impacted in many ways.