You spot a driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoint ahead of you. You may or may not have even been drinking. Either way, you’d rather not go through a police checkpoint on the way home.
Many motorists like yourself wonder if you can just turn around when you see a checkpoint or if you need to go through it once you see it. You may wonder what police officers will do if you avoid it.
It’s important that you understand what you can do in such situations.
You don’t have an obligation to go through the checkpoint
There’s no rule saying you have to go through the checkpoint just because you saw it. As long as you haven’t yet interacted with the officers, you can just turn down a different road or even turn around.
The key is that if you’re going to turn around, then you’ll want to do so legally. The police will likely assume that anyone avoiding the checkpoint is drunk, and they’ll look for excuses to pull you over. It doesn’t take much.
For instance, there are cases of officers putting up signs warning of fictitious checkpoints up ahead. Drivers illegally performed U-turns in instances like this, not knowing that there wasn’t really a checkpoint ahead. Police used those illegal U-turns as an excuse to stop the drivers.
While making a U-turn doesn’t mean you’re under the influence of alcohol, it could be enough for police to pull you over. Police could work their way toward field sobriety tests or breath tests if they get the impression that you’re impaired while talking to you.
What are your rights in a DUI case?
It’s imperative that you know your rights when approaching a checkpoint, during a traffic stop and upon your DUI arrest. An attorney can go over your legal rights and the defense option you may be able to employ in your case.