Most police departments place a major emphasis on busting drunk drivers during the holiday season, and it is common for DUI checkpoints to be put in place. Even if you are not drunk, it is easy to become intimidated by one of these checkpoints. The following five tips will help you keep calm and have the best results if you find yourself inside a DUI checkpoint this holiday season.
1) Do not Act Erratically – Because of the cost associated with administering a DUI test, the checkpoints are often setup to determine who should and should not have to take one. Even if you are slightly intoxicated, you might be able to make your way through the checkpoint without taking a sobriety test. The most important thing to note is that you should remain calm, enter the checkpoint and speak to the police officer in a polite manner. As long as you are not slurring your words or visibly intoxicated, you might pass right through the checkpoint. If you act in an erratic or nervous manner, however, you will definitely be asked to take a breathalyzer test.
2) Do not make Inappropriate Comments – According to our Orlando DUI source, even people who are completely sober or who have a blood alcohol content that is below the legal limit can get themselves into trouble if their nerves cause them to blurt out something that is inappropriate. Anything from a sarcastic attempt at humor to a comment that can be perceived as hostile will cause the officer to administer a breathalyzer. Even if you pass the test, you can still be arrested if you cause a lot of issues during the testing process.
3) Do not Offer Unnecessary Information – Unless the police officer specifically asks you a question, you should not provide them with any information about where you have been, where you are going or any prescription medication that you are taking. If you give them this information, you might also be giving them enough probable cause to search your car.
4) Keep Your Registration and Insurance Close By – Some people wait until they are pulled over to discover that their registration and insurance is buried in their glove box, or even worse, that they do not have it in their car. Because the holiday season means that checkpoints will be common, you should make sure that all of your necessary documents are up to date and in an easy to access spot in your vehicle. Handing these items over calmly but quickly will cause the officer to spend less time lingering at your window.
5) Stay Informed to Avoid Checkpoints – Most areas publicize checkpoints in multiple places, including newspapers. Whether you are planning to drive while intoxicated or you simply want to avoid the hassles of dealing with a checkpoint, you should make it a point to stay informed. Although it is always possible that you will encounter a checkpoint that was not publicized, you can still bypass the vast majority of checkpoints by simply reading the local paper or visiting local news sites.
If you end up arrested as result of a DUI checkpoint, it is important to hire a DUI attorney. Do not admit that you are intoxicated regardless of what the breathalyzer test says. With a good attorney, you can be acquitted of a DUI charge, especially if the weather conditions would make it difficult to properly calibrate the breathalyzer.
Anthony Joseph is a researcher for drunk driving, and a contributing writer for Orlando DUI lawyers Katz & Phillips. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need an attorney who is intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the criminal justice system in the Florida area. The attorneys at Katz & Phillips have also worked on the other side of the line as prosecuting attorneys.