The DUI checkpoint is an important tool in the arsenal of law enforcement to combat drunk driving in California. Unfortunately, DUI checkpoints can be very intimidating for drivers who aren’t aware of their rights. The next time you encounter a DUI checkpoint, here are some things you should keep in mind.
You do not have to consent to any searches of your vehicle
At a DUI or DWI checkpoint, the officers may ask you to consent to a search of your vehicle. Always remember that you do not have to grant the police officers permission to look inside your car. If an officer asks whether they can perform a search, politely decline and ask for a search warrant. Just remember that you do not have the right to refuse to open your car window, even if you do not consent to a search.
If you get arrested, you have the right to remain silent
You may get detained at a DUI or DWI checkpoint, especially if the police officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol. If this occurs, you do not need to answer any questions about your appearance or where you’re coming from. By law, DUI offenders can remain silent and cannot get punished for refusing to answer such questions. Remember that speaking can easily incriminate you for DUI or DWI, so it may be best to remain silent until you have legal representation.
You have the right to an attorney
If the police officers arrest you, you have the right to request an attorney. DUI checkpoints can be quite stressful, and you may feel confused or unsure of your actions. As such, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney immediately after your arrest. They may guide you on what to do next, including what to say or not say.
Although this is not the full list of your rights, remember these important points the next time you encounter a DUI checkpoint. By knowing your rights, you can help ensure that you don’t get unfairly arrested or get subjected to an unlawful search or harassment.