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How to act at a DUI checkpoint

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving |

DUI checkpoints are legal in Georgia, and coming upon one while you are driving usually causes anxiety. You should not try to avoid the checkpoint if there is no legal way around it.

Do not pull over and turn around or drive the wrong way. This will only likely get you in more trouble. However, if there is a legal turn you can make to get around the checkpoint, you can do it. Just make sure to follow all traffic laws, such as not speeding and using your turn signal.

Stop talking

Even if you must go through the checkpoint, you have more rights at a DUI checkpoint than you may realize. You do not have to provide any other information except for your name and your driver’s license and vehicle registration if asked.

Many people assume that since it is a DUI checkpoint, they must tell the police officers how much alcohol they had that day. This is not true. Do not volunteer any information about alcohol or any other subject.

The police officers count on drivers not knowing this right, as well as drivers being nervous. This usually results in rambling or giving too much information, hoping to get on the police officer’s good side.

Additionally, you might think that telling the police officers about any alcohol consumption that day will make them believe you are being honest. Again, this is false. You are doing their job for them by providing them with information that could be used against if you they decide to arrest you for DUI.

Ask if you are free to leave

Be respectful and polite but tell them you do not wish to answer any questions. If they continue to ask you questions, ask if you are free to go. Without probable cause to make an arrest, they must let you leave.

You also have a right to refuse any field sobriety tests. These are tests that involve getting out of your vehicle and doing things like walking a straight line or counting backwards.

When it comes to chemical tests, you may refuse, but your refusal could be held against you if an arrest is eventually made.

It is natural to have questions about your experience at a DUI checkpoint. There are professionals who can answer them.