The Do’s and Do Not’s of Sobriety Checkpoints

It is late in the evening and you are your spouse are driving home. You spent the evening celebrating at a friend’s wedding. As you make your way home, traffic on the otherwise not so busy street grinds to a halt. You notice flashing lights ahead and then you realize that you have encounter a sobriety checkpoint. If you are like most drivers, you may not have a clue as what you should do or not do at a checkpoint. Here is a list of pointers to keep in mind, in the event you ever encounter a sobriety checkpoint:

  • DO NOT panic. From time to time, it is reported in the news of a motorist attempting to avoid a checkpoint by attempting to drive around the checkpoint or making a U-turn. This is never a good idea, it will only make you look very suspicious to the officer. The police are also normally prepared to chase after any vehicle who attempts to avoid the checkpoint.
  • DO: Use caution. Sobriety checkpoints are often setup at night and not well lit. Be careful maneuvering and follow the officer’s driving directions for navigating the checkpoint.
  • DO NOT feel the need to be chatty with the officer. He or she may ask you questions as to your where you are headed to or from. You do not have to offer any information that you do not think is necessary. You are well within your rights to refuse to answer any of the officer’s questions.
  • DO: Furnish your driver’s license to the officer at his or her request. As you approach the officer he or she will generally request to see your license and sometimes proof of insurance. You will need to produce these documents and it is better if you can have both ready so that you are not fumbling with your wallet, purse, or in your glove box in front of the officer.
  • DO NOT feel compelled to participate in a field sobriety test. Motorists are not required to complete field sobriety tests. These tests are difficult for even a sober person to pass, so it best to refuse participation.
  • DO be polite. Being rude or showing attitude with the officer is not going to help you in this situation. Remember the saying, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. A polite refusal is perfectly acceptable.
  • DO NOT refuse to get out of the car. If the officer asks you to step of the vehicle, then do as he or she requests.
  • DO request an attorney and thereafter keep silent if arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). A person cannot be punished for exercising his or her Miranda rights.

As always if you have been drinking it is always a good idea to choose not to drive. Remember that you have options, you could spend the night, call a cab or a sober friend for a ride, use a designated driver, or take public transportation.

To Learn More, Contact the Whitman Law Offices Now!

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint you need an experienced Kansas DUI Defense Attorney. Only a skilled Kansas DUI defense attorney will be able to determine if your rights were violated. Contact the Whitman Law Offices today at (785) 843-9460 to schedule your free and confidential consultation. Remember, if needed one of our attorneys can also make arrangements to visit you in jail. Attorney, Charles E. Whitman, has more than 35 years of experience representing persons charged with DUI and will utilize that knowledge to your advantage.


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