DUI Checkpoints Are the Pits

The Dreaded DUI Checkpoint.

The DUI checkpoint can be a real heart stopper. I know. I have been through a number of them. And it didn’t matter to me that I was not in any danger of getting a ticket for DWI or DUI. Just seeing all of those flashing lights and the street being lit up by the portable lights, makes you nervous. It did me.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

First of all by the time you have noticed the checkpoint the police have noticed you. They set up a car to watch for people who turn around in order to avoid the checkpoint. If you do this, you are in trouble already. So, don’t call attention to yourself.

Next, if you are stopped at the checkpoint and asked to give your license and insurance, do it. Don’t argue and start telling the officer how this is illegal and violates your rights. All of that may be true. But remember that he is just an employee of some police department and he might not want to be there any more than you do. If you piss him or her off first thing it can only go poorly for you. Think about it. This person might be in a position to throw you a break. Why make them mad?

This actually happened to me once. A highway patrolman that I knew waived me through the checkpoint when he recognized me in the driver’s seat. He could have made life miserable for me. But I was polite to him when I pulled up, even though I had vigorously cross examined him in a trial just weeks before.

And remember, you are not required to perform any field sobriety tests like following the finger with your eyes, walk and turn or one leg stand. You can refuse these with anything happening to your license.

Should you be arrested and asked to take the breath test, you have a bigger problem and there is no “one answer fits all” circumstance. I wish I could tell you what to do in that circumstance but I can’t. There are things that happen if you do and things that happen if you don’t. None of them are good.

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