What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint
DUI checkpoints or sobriety checkpoints are roadblocks set up by police in the hopes of stopping people from driving under the influence. During a DUI checkpoint the police will ask you to roll down your window so they can speak with you. They will ask for your drivers license, insurance, and registration. They may ask you a couple questions about where you are going or where you are coming from. This gives them the opportunity to check for signs of intoxication. They are looking for bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol on your breath.
If the police detect signs of intoxication they will conduct a field sobriety test. You’ll have to step out of your vehicle and follow the directions the police officer gives you. The five field sobriety tests are:
- Placing your finger to your nose
- Reciting the alphabet or numbers
- Standing on one foot
- Walking back and forth in a straight line
- Following movement with your eyes
If you are unable to perform the field sobriety tests properly you will most likely be given a breathalyzer test. If it is determined that you are under the influence of alcohol, at this time the officer will place you under arrest.
It is important that you call us at the Mountaineer Criminal Law Group as soon as you are able. Be polite to the police, but do not admit any guilt until your West Virginia DUI lawyer has advised you.
It is the law that police must publicize the details of a planned DUI checkpoint before it happens. They have to let the public know the specific date, time, and location of the roadblock. If you want to know about any checkpoints you might encounter check your local news for information.
Part of the reason DUI checkpoints are publicized is to deter people from drinking and driving. If people know that the police are out there checking drivers, they are more likely to find a safe way to get home at the end of the night instead of getting behind the wheel impaired. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that DUI checkpoints have the potential to prevent 1 in 10 DUI related deaths.
The Do’s and Don’ts
When you are approaching a DUI checkpoint in West Virginia there should be a side road you are able to turn down in order to avoid making the stop at the roadblock. Legally, the police must set up the roadblock this way allowing for motorists to take an alternative route. What is not legal is for you to make a u-turn in the road in order to avoid the DUI checkpoint. If you turn around the police will follow you and pull you over. It is very suspicious looking to try and turn around.
This may sound like common sense, but never get out of your vehicle and flee on foot. It does happen and the police always catch up with the person fleeing. This will never work out in your favor.
During a checkpoint remain calm and speak politely with the officer. Showing anger or impatience or refusing to cooperate will only make you look guilty.
If you are arrested for a DUI call your Morgantown criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Do not admit to any guilt until you have spoken with your attorney and they have helped you come up with a plan.
What Will Your West Virginia Criminal Lawyer Do for You?
The reasons why it is necessary for you to call a West Virginia criminal lawyer is because they will inspect and find out all the crucial points that can work in your favor in the court of law.
Your lawyer will:
- Review all the checkpoint documents and investigate them.
- Investigate the arresting procedure and scrutinize them properly.
- Analyze the DUI video that has been recorded by a dash cam or a body cam worn by the officer to look for mistakes made by the police.
Your West Virginia criminal lawyer will find any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that can be used in your favor to have the case dismissed altogether, or to have the charges lessened.
If you are someone you know has been arrested for a DUI call the Mountaineer Criminal Law Group at (304) 900-3391. The faster you call, the faster we can start working on your case.