Thursday, February 16, 2012

DUI Checkpoints: Your Rights and Some ideas

You are out and about going somewhere on a weekend night and all a sudden traffic starts backing up.  There is no reason traffic should be this busy so you start wondering...Is there a wreck?  Then it hits you when you see all the cop cars.  Your stuck in a DUI checkpoint.

Now there are a couple of ways to handle this.  If you haven't been drinking then its just a big inconvenience, your going to have to sit in line and be late to whatever your going to.  If you have been drinking then your heart just sank.  You have some decisions to make.

But here are some things to consider.
1. You only have to provide insurance information (on demand) and identification for yourself and the vehicle.
2. You don't have to answer questions.
3. Not speaking, could cause the police to hassle you more.
4. You don't have to consent to any search.
5. Before the police can make you take any sobriety tests they need probable cause to believe you are under the influence.

Lets take a look at some reactions to people trying different methods of handling a DUI Checkpoint.
Refusal to Speak:

Now these officers did it correctly. They had no probable cause to believe the driver had been drinking. He didn't slur his speech. He must not have been showing physical signs of being drunk, and he didn't say that he had drank any alcohol. So they let him go.

Here is someone that took the test when they should not have.

If you are drunk please don't make it more difficult on your attorney and consent to a field sobriety test. If you are in Kansas just say no thank you. You don't have to take the field sobriety test. There is no negative consequence to not taking them.  Remember I am not talking about Breathalyzer Test.  Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test has negative consequences on your license.

Lastly, remember not every police officer plays it by the book. What an officer should do and what they actually do can often be two different things.

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