Since 1990, DUI checkpoints have been legal under federal law. The “brief intrusion” into privacy without probable cause is considered by the Supreme Court to be justified in reducing alcohol-related deaths and injuries. However, they can be legal on the federal level and still be banned on the state level, which is the case for Texas. This doesn’t prevent officers from pulling you over if they have reasonable suspicion that you may be driving under the influence, of course.
However, if you’re visiting another state, you may be subject to legal DUI/OVI checkpoints in Lubbock, TX. The smartest way to avoid legal trouble and injury is to avoid drinking and driving altogether—but what do you do if you’ve gotten behind the wheel after a few drinks and are stopped at a checkpoint? Even states that allow checkpoints will still have strict rules regarding what officers can and cannot do during the encounters. Follow these simple guidelines to remain as legally protected as possible, and always have your lawyer’s phone number handy:
- Go through the checkpoint: If you encounter a DUI or OVI checkpoint, one of the worst things you can do is try to avoid it. Obvious evasive maneuvers like illegal U-turns or simply blowing through the checkpoint can make things a lot worse for your case. In fact, that can give officers probable cause to pull you over.
- Don’t volunteer unnecessary information: When you’re at a DUI or OVI checkpoint, there’s a limited amount of information that officers are allowed to ask about, and a limited time they can keep you. You should expect to produce your license, registration and proof of insurance. Answer the officers’ questions directly, but don’t give more information than is specifically requested. Without further evidence that you’ve been drinking (slurred speech, alcohol on the breath, visible bottles or cans or even your own admission), their time to stop you is very limited.
- Cooperate with the authorities. If law enforcement decides to detain you further, the best thing you can do is cooperate. Don’t decline a sobriety test—although you can, all 50 states have some version of an “implied consent” rule. Implied consent laws operate under the idea that by driving, you submit to the state’s interest in protecting its citizens. This includes taking sobriety tests when there’s suspicion that you have been drinking.
- Call a lawyer. Should you be arrested or charged with a DUI or OVI, you’ll want to call an experienced and reputable lawyer. It’s always best to use a designated driver when you’ve been drinking, such as a cab, rideshare or the services of a friend. However, if you’ve been arrested or charged thanks to a checkpoint stop, your lawyer will take care to review state and federal law to ensure that all laws and statutes were followed properly.
If you’ve been stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Lubbock, TX and need an attorney, call the Law Office of Rob Biggers. We’ll fight hard and honestly to protect your rights.
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Categorised in: DWI