What To Do When Confronted with a DUI Checkpoint
In 1990 some Michigan motorists challenged the constitutionality of a highway sobriety checkpoint where Michigan State Police had pulled over vehicles whose drivers were thought to be under the influence of an intoxicant, and asked them to perform field sobriety tests. The United States Supreme Court determined that the DUI checkpoint did not create an intrusion on citizens’ privacy under the Fourth Amendment [Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 110 S.Ct. 2481 (1990)].
Avoiding the DUI Checkpoint
Chief Justice Rehnquist, who wrote the opinion for the majority, reasoned, among other things, that a short delay was minimally intrusive on motorists’ rights, especially as motorists could turn off the road upon seeing the checkpoint or make U-turns so as not to pass through it.
Checking Driver’s Licenses/Registrations
Police do not have the right to check driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations unless the stop is for a violation, or if the police suspect illegal conduct (such as signs of intoxication).
Consenting to a Search
Officers may search a vehicle without the driver’s consent when police:
- Have probable cause to believe that the vehicle contains contraband or the fruits or instrumentalities of a crime (such as an open bottle of booze in the vehicle).
- Have placed the driver under arrest.
- Observe, from where they stand outside the vehicle, illegal articles within the vehicle that are in plain view.
Cooperating with the Police
When citizens pass through a DUI checkpoint, they should be cooperative. For example, if a driver refuses to roll down
his/her window, that might raise a police officer’s suspicion and the driver could be asked to pull to the side of the road.
People may, however, refuse to answer a police officer’s questions — however, it’s in the driver’s best interest to respond politely, for example:
- “Officer, please understand that I refuse to talk to you until I consult with my attorney. I also refuse to consent to any search of my vehicle, as well as my person and effects. I wish to immediately be allowed the reasonable opportunity to obtain the advice of my attorney by telephone.”
- “If I am under arrest, I wish to exercise my right to silence until my attorney is present.”
- “If I am not under arrest, and I am free to leave, please tell me immediately so that I may go about my business.”
Refusing to Perform a Field Sobriety Test
A driver may refuse to perform field sobriety tests as they are voluntary, although law enforcement doesn’t emphasize this fact (or they may not even mention it). However, an officer may still arrest the driver if the officer has probable cause. Keep in mind that performing field sobriety tests may possibly give the police more evidence of intoxication.
Shaun Kaufman Law: 303-309-0430
Latest posts by K (see all)
- Medical Data as Crime Evidence - February 7, 2017
- A Top 10 Favorite Legal Film: Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - January 12, 2017
- Holiday Office Parties and DUIs: Enjoy the First, Avoid the Second - December 9, 2016
How Can We Help You?Call Shaun Kaufman Law at 303-309-0430. We are happy to offer a free, initial phone consultation regarding your case.
Subscribe via Email to Shaun Kaufman Law Posts
Popular Posts This Month at Shaun Kaufman
- Sartorial Tips from a Lawyer: What to Wear to Court March 17, 2015: Update on "Sartorial Tips from a Lawyer" Since…
- Sentencing: Tips for Preparing a Mitigation Package Sentencing is important in many criminal defense cases. Understand that…
- Tips from a Lawyer: Late or Missed a Court Date?… Late for Your Court Date? Or have you missed your…
- After the DUI Arrest, What Happens Next? After you are taken into custody for DUI, you will…
- Twitter Hashtags for Lawyers 101 Twitter As Search Engine When I first became a Twitter…
- Can I Sue the State? A School District? A City? Our firm is asked often such question as "Can I…
- Don’t Be a Cop Magnet: Top 10 Reasons Police Pull Over It's fairly easy to get pulled over while you're driving.…
- Getting and Keeping a Colorado Bail Bonding License: Part… It is not easy to become a bail bondsman in…
- Shaun Kaufman Bio Shaun Kaufman: Tough Litigator, Compassionate Lawyer Call 24/7: 303-309-0430 Shaun Kaufman…
- Should You Lie or Not Talk to the Police? Can I get into trouble if I lie to the…
Shaun Kaufman Law serves clients across…
Denver Metro area and throughout Colorado, the Denver Tech Center, Golden, Brighton, Littleton, Boulder, Lakewood, Longmont, Englewood, Arvada, Fort Collins, Greeley, Aurora, Evergreen, Lakewood, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Parker, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Glendale, Louisville, Lone Tree, Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Cherry Creek, Pueblo, Black Hawk, Georgetown, Eagle, Carbonale,,El Jebel, Leadville, Glenwood Springs, Granby, Grand Lake, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Silverton,Telluride, Ouray, Delta, Gunnison, Lake City, Walden, Loveland. Rifle, Meeker, Rangely, Central City, Salida, Westcliffe, Canon City, Fairplay, Sheridan, Creede, Del Norte, Centennial, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Kiowa. Broomfield, and all communities of The Foothills, The Eastern Plains and the Front Range, Trinidad, Walsenburg and Aguilar.