As a driver, you have a lot of choices. Which route to take is one such choice. Since there are usually multiple ways to get from point A to point B, every time you get behind the wheel, you have the option to decide how you want to travel. That kind of freedom is part of what makes driving such an enjoyable activity.
However, DUI checkpoints may make you feel a little less free. We understand that, if you have been drinking (or even if you haven’t), you’d prefer not to go through a DUI checkpoint. It’s certainly your call, as a driver, to determine whether or not you’d like to go through a given checkpoint.
While checkpoints are intended to keep drivers safe, there are numerous reasons why you might opt-out. If you do decide to proceed, however, we think it’s useful to understand the best way to navigate DUI checkpoints.
What You Need to Know
Police do not have the right to check your driver’s license or registration unless you are being stopped for a traffic violation. That said, police are allowed to request both documents if they suspect any illegal activity within the vehicle.
The same approach applies to search your vehicle. As long as there is nothing suspicious in plain sight, there should be no reason to request a search. However, once the driver has been arrested, or if the police notice any illegal substances or items within the car, they do have the right to search the vehicle.
While sobriety tests are optional, declining one does not mean that a driver will avoid being arrested. Police officers are allowed to arrest any driver who appears intoxicated, whether or not a field sobriety test has been taken.
Because these checkpoints exist to keep motorists safe, it’s helpful to remember that the police are not there to annoy or inconvenience you. If you’ve made appropriate choices throughout the evening and have nothing to hide, it’s best to cooperate so that the process can run smoothly and you can continue on your way.
Ultimately, it is up to you how cooperative you would like to be, and if you want to go through the checkpoint at all. But, with this information in mind, we hope that you will be able to make the decision that is best for you.
As a Denver accident law firm, we see countless cases of automobile accidents and personal injury, many of which are caused by DUIs. So if you or a loved one has been the victim of such an accident, you can rest assured that we are here to help. When you contact us, we’ll set up an initial consultation to help you decide the next best step. Levine Law is here for you.