Driving into a DUI checkpoint is sure to raise your anxiety level. Even if you only had one drink, you’ll have concerns about what’s about to unfold. And if you’ve had multiple drinks, it’s natural to wonder if you’ll be put under arrest.
If you find yourself face-to-face with an officer at a DUI checkpoint, here are five things you need to avoid:
- Open alcohol containers: With an open alcohol container in your vehicle, you give the officer reason to believe you’re under the influence. While the open alcohol container law in Virginia doesn’t apply to passengers, it still gives the officer reason to dig around.
- Erratic driving: Changing lanes, stopping and starting, and driving slowly will tip off the officers at the DUI checkpoint. Rather than do this, slow down to a reasonable speed and move toward the officer just as you would a stop sign.
- Talking back: It’s easy to become upset if you’re stopped at a DUI checkpoint. This is particularly true if the officer is disrespectful. But rather than talk back and explain your legal rights, take a deep breath and keep your cool. You don’t want to give the officer another reason to learn more about your situation.
- Saying too much: Provide the officer with the information they request, such as license and registration, while also answering basic questions. However, don’t say too much about what’s happening, as it may incriminate you.
- Resisting arrest: Depending on what the officer finds, they may put you under arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. This isn’t the ideal situation, but don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Remain calm, follow the procedure outlined by the officer and take mental notes as to everything that’s happening. Resisting only makes things worse, as it can lead to additional criminal charges.
When you avoid these mistakes at a DUI checkpoint, you’re more likely to drive away without any trouble.
In the event of your arrest, it’s important to turn your immediate attention to protecting your legal rights. It won’t be long before you find yourself in court, so devising a solid DUI defense strategy is a must.