One of the things you may have to deal with this holiday season is a DUI checkpoint. These checkpoints are more common during the holidays due to the large amount of celebrations that take place during this time of year.
DUI checkpoints are designed to prevent people from driving while intoxicated. A blog post on the site of a San Bernardino DUI lawyer references statistics from the CDC (Center for Disease Control)such as the fact that DUI checkpoints can reduce alcohol related accidents and deaths by 20 percent in the area where the checkpoint is located.If you encounter a DUI checkpoint during your holiday travels, there are three things that you should know so that it goes without a problem.
1. You Must Participate.
Contrary to urban legend, if you are pulled over in a DUI checkpoint you must participate. Have your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and car registration ready to present to the officers. You should willingly answer any questions they as and try to remain calm. The police officers cannot search your car, however, unless they have probable cause. Probable cause consists of them physically seeing something illegal in your car such as an open alcohol container, a firearm or drugs and drug paraphernalia. If the officers request that you open your glove box, any bags or boxes in your car, or the trunk, you have the right to say no. If there is no reason for probable cause, they must have a warrant to search anything inside of the car.
2. Avoid Confrontation.
Yes, going through a checkpoint can be time consuming and even annoying, but you need to remain pleasant. Just remember, these officers would much rather be home celebrating the holidays with their families also, and being confrontational is only going to make them irate. Confrontation will only lengthen the process and may even lead to other problems.
3. You Can Be Arrested or Ticketed for More Than DUI.
Another common urban legend is that DUI checkpoints can only arrest you for driving under the influence. The truth is, they can ticket or arrest you for any offense that they find during the stop. It is not unusual for DUI checkpoints to result in the arrest of people with outstanding warrants, suspended licenses, or other traffic offenses.
Keep in mind that holiday checkpoints are for your safety and not just a point of aggravation. It is also important to remember that the police officers will be just as agreeable as you are, so keep calm and move through the process.If you are arrested during a DUI checkpoint, mae sure that you take the tie to call a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you start your defense the ore likely you will be to win your case. Attorneys are available during the holidays.
The best thing to remember during the holidays is that to have the best holiday, you need to refrain from drinking and driving, even if it was “just one.”
As one San Bernardino DUI lawyer states, “the main goal of checkpoints is not to arrest impaired drivers, but deter drivers from driving impaired in the first place.” Having seen friends get into legal trouble, Melanie Fleury does not need many reasons to not drink and drive. She hopes that those who read this article will have a safe holiday on and off the road.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/erikkristensen/8323808128/
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