A sobriety checkpoint is a law enforcement tool used to identify and deter impaired driving and DUI drivers. Several officers set up at various checkpoints on a roadway to stop people and check for alcohol impairment DUI or any other drug impairment. These checkpoints are placed in many fixed locations, and vehicles are stopped based on a pre-determined plan (e.g. every car, every other car, every 4th car, etc.) or if anyone is doubted for DUI.
Law enforcement sets up DUI checkpoints to limit the number of drunk drivers on the roads and improve overall road safety. Everyone needs to stop and comply with law enforcement at DUI checkpoints. Even if you have not been drinking, you are obliged to stop if demanded by any officer. There is no tolerable reason for drivers to ignore DUI checkpoints.
DUI checkpoints are mostly placed in locations where drunk driving is common. There are some rules you should follow if stopped at a DUI sobriety checkpoint. If you are stopped and arrested for a DUI it is essential to acquire professionals as soon as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer can guide you through the process.
What Happens At A Checkpoint?
You should also be aware of the situation that occurs at a DUI checkpoint in Portland. A roadblock may be signage showing that you have entered a DUI checkpoint. If you are stopped by an officer, they will ask for your license and registration. They will closely monitor your behavior to determine whether you are under the influence or not.
They will observe any signs of alcohol influence like:
- Indistinct communication
- Glossy eyes
- Clumsiness and fumbling your documentation
- Scent of alcohol
If you are suspected of being under the influence, they will ask you to go through a breath test or field sobriety test. If you refuse to stop or deny a DUI breathe test in Portland, you can get arrested or can have your license suspended for almost a year. Therefore you should contact a DUI defense attorney who fights for your rights.
The three main types of consistent field sobriety tests are:
- Walk and Turn Test
- One-Leg Stand Test
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
Your Rights at a Sobriety Checkpoint
Here are some steps you should take to protect yourself at a DUI sobriety checkpoint:
Avoid the Checkpoint Altogether
If you are busy and don’t have enough time to stop at a sobriety checkpoint, you are not required to go through it. If you can legally turn around and take any other route, you are allowed to do so. But keep in mind, it can make the police more suspicious, and they can follow and stop you.
Prepare for the Stop
If you can’t legally avoid the line at a checkpoint, start getting out your documents in advance to save your time. To prevent any suspicions, remain calm and place your hands where officers can see them.
It is quite normal for people to feel nervous during their encounter with law enforcement at a sobriety checkpoint. The visible signs of nervousness can come across as signs of impairment.
Limit your Interactions
Even though the officers legally stop you at a sobriety checkpoint on suspicion of intoxication, you still are not obliged to provide unnecessary information. The officers should have a legal reason to stop and ask questions. When you are stopped, the officers may begin asking you questions, like:
- Where are you coming from?
- Did you have anything to drink?
- How much have you had to drink?
You are not required to answer these questions. You can decline to answer questions but maintain a calm and polite demeanor. As you likely know, if officers find evidence of criminal activity in your vehicle, you may face serious consequences.
At a sobriety checkpoint, officers stop vehicles long enough to determine whether the diver is under the influence of alcohol or not. They will ask for your license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. You should keep these documents ready before the office approaches your vehicle.
Arrested At A Sobriety Checkpoint? Let Us Help You!
If you are suspected or arrested for a DUI while going through a sobriety checkpoint, you must contact a professional DUI defense lawyer in Portland. Trilogy Law Group works with a team of competent attorneys who are ever-eager to help.
You can rely on our proficient lawyers to do everything in their power to reduce or dismiss your charges. Reach out to us for professional legal advice and more!