Blog Post

DWI CHECKPOINTS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM DWI CHECKPOINTS AND WHAT THEY DO

DWI Checkpoints have been is use in Missouri for many years. They are a staple of law enforcement and they are not going away. There is constant debate as to how useful they really are. They do get some drunk drivers off the road. But they also trap a few of those people who are not really under the influence of alcohol but have had something to drink.

Starting last summer there seemed to be a lot of chatter on the Internet about what you should do if you find yourself at a DWI checkpoint. The advice ranges from total cooperation to almost total resistance. I guess the best thing I can say is, “Don’t drink and drive and you will be okay.”

But even then, pulling into a DWI roadblock can be scary. Even if you have not had anything to drink. First of all they may say it is a DWI checkpoint but you know they are looking for anything they think is suspicious. In today’s environment a lot of police seem to think that almost anything is suspicious.

The Driver Acted Nervous

One of the things I see on police reports all the time is that the driver (by then the defendant) acted nervous. No kidding? Suddenly you are surrounded by police officers, there are all sorts of flashing lights, police walking around in bright-colored vests, flashlights shining here and there. All of that is designed to have a psychological affect on you, and it does. What can the office conclude from the fact that in his or her opinion you are acting nervous? Nothing. Maybe you are nervous because you are out with somebody’s spouse and don’t want to get caught. Or may you are nervous because you are thinking about a work project that might cause you to lose your job.

What I Don’t Think Will Do You Any Good

I see a lot of advice about hanging some script out the driver’s side window and telling the police that you are not going to open the window or car door unless they show you a warrant. That sounds really cool. But I would bet you a dollar to a doughnut that the cop is going to develop an attitude toward you that you are going to regret. Especially if you have been drinking. It will also not be to your benefit to try and avid the roadblock once you see it. Guess what? They have a car positioned just in case that happens. Nothing like calling attention to yourself.

If you come upon a roadblock, keep calm. Follow instructions and be polite. You do not have to take the so-called field sobriety tests. You do not have to follow the pen with your eyes, walk the straight line or stand on one foot. Just politely refuse to do it. You do not have to answer any questions at all. You don’t have to say where you are going to or coming from. You do not have to say if you have had anything to drink. Do not answer any questions. If you do you are either going to hurt yourself by telling the truth or hurt yourself by lying.

Ask For an Attorney

What ever you do, as soon as you are asked to get out of the car, if it gets that far, start asking for an attorney. State clearly and politely that you would like to call an attorney beforeyou do anything. Stick to your guns. Eventuall they will let you call. My number is 636-795-3373. Write it down, remember it, put it in your speed dial!