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 than good.
- 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.