Being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint is a major source of anxiety for
many drivers. Regardless of whether or not you have been drinking, the
process of being stopped at a roadblock, questioned by the police, and
possibly being subjected to further interrogation can be an unsettling
experience – especially if the police should have reason to suspect
that you are guilty of
driving while intoxicated (DWI). Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure your rights
are protected and reduce your chances of winding up in the back of a squad car.
Present your information without resistance: When you roll up to the roadblock, the first thing the police will request
is your license and registration. Comply with this request without giving
them a hard time. Becoming angry or belligerent will only make your situation
worse and give the police a greater reason to further detain you. Ask
the police before reaching into any glove compartments and keep your hands
where they can see them.
Do not argue about probable cause: Many people who are stopped at sobriety checkpoints may attempt to get
out of their situation by claiming that the officer did not have probable
cause to pull them over. While this argument may have been persuasive
enough in the past, the United States Supreme Court has since debunked
these assertions by ruling that the dangers of drunk driving outweigh
the degree of intrusion into a person’s privacy that is presented
by a DWI checkpoint. Simply put, the police can stop you and question
you at a sobriety checkpoint without having any reason to believe you
have done anything wrong.
Keep quiet: While you may be pulled over without reason, the law does not require
you to speak to a police officer. Besides providing basic information,
you do not need to provide answers to any other questions the police may
ask, such as where you were going or whether you have been drinking.
Refuse field sobriety tests: If the police think you have been drinking, they will likely ask you to
step out of your vehicle and submit to various tests, such as a walk-and-turn
test, a horizontal gaze nystagmus test, or even a handheld breathalyzer.
You are not required to submit to these tests and may decline participation
without penalty. In fact, these tests are designed to be failed, so even
if you think you may “pass,” you may end up doing more harm
Decline searches: Depending on the circumstances, the police may even ask to search your
vehicle. Again, you may refuse this without penalty. The police may only
search your vehicle with a court-issued warrant or your permission.
Arrested for DWI? Contact Kyle Law Firm Today
If you should be arrested for DWI after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint,
it is imperative you retain the services of an aggressive attorney as
soon as possible to guard your rights and freedom. At Kyle Law Firm, our
New Braunfels DWI attorneys have more than 60 years of combined legal
experience and can provide the powerful support you need to minimize your
chances of serving serious consequences.
Call (830) 476-7780 or
contact our firm online today to find out more about how we can help.