DWI checkpoints are administered to deter intoxicated driving and keep drivers safe from drunk motorists. Typically, law enforcement set up these checkpoints along busy highways and roads that are notorious for drunk driving incidents during weekends and holidays.
These checkpoints often consist of roadblocks along intersections, where officers stop random vehicles at random intervals and check for signs of intoxication. If you encounter one of these checkpoints, you must remember your rights and avoid being arrested and charged with a DWI.
The following are a few tips to follow whenever you encounter a DWI checkpoint:
- Be polite. Treat the police officers with respect since they can use your behavior against you. Do not answer any questions that may incriminate you or cast you in a negative light. Keep in mind, you have the right to remain silent.
- Provide the proper documentation only when asked. You are required to hand over your license, registration, and insurance information if the police request it. However, unprompted movements to your pocket or glove compartment may appear like you’re reaching for a weapon, so only retrieve those documents when asked.
- You have the right to deny search and seizure. You have the right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure. Police are trained to look for “probable cause” which would enable them to search your vehicle. If you do not provide consent and law enforcement searches your vehicle anyway, your attorney may be able to argue that the search was unlawful and any evidence gathered against you is inadmissible in court.
- You can refuse field sobriety tests. It is not mandatory to perform a field sobriety test when asked. Furthermore, field sobriety tests can produce inaccurate results, which may lead to false arrest and charges.