Sobriety checkpoints tend to sprout around cities during the holiday season when there is an increase in alcohol consumption paired with driving. Do not be surprised to see a DUI checkpoint on your way home from a holiday party. The purpose of sobriety checkpoints is to prevent drunk driving. Many people question the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints and the legality of these checkpoints vary from state to state. Many wonder, what happens if you simply do not drive through the checkpoint or refuse to answer the officer’s questions?
Making a U-turn Instead of Driving Through a DUI Checkpoint?
If you see a DUI checkpoint, you do not necessarily have to drive through the checkpoint if there are legal alternative routes available to you. However, this tactic is not always the best course of action. Officers will usually monitor drivers who do not go through the checkpoint. Patrol cars are also around the area on the lookout for people who are appear to avoid the checkpoint.
DUI Checkpoint Procedures
Sobriety checkpoints are legal in the state of Illinois to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol and to protect the public’s safety. However, these steps must be followed:
- Checkpoints must be publicized in advance. They cannot just shoot up on every corner to surprise drivers. The time and location of DUI checkpoints must be made public before police officers begin stopping drivers.
- Sobriety checkpoints must be marked with traffic cones and signs that identify them as DUI checkpoints.
- Law enforcement officers at the checkpoints must be wearing a uniform and they should be in official police vehicles.
- Officers must be neutral and unbiased when they pull over vehicles at a sobriety checkpoint. They may decide to pull over every third vehicle, the black vehicles, or take on another approach that is not biased.
- The officer must have reasonable probable cause. You cannot be arrested merely based on a hunch that you are driving under the influence of alcohol. The officer must see you driving recklessly, smell alcohol on your breath, or something else that would suggest you are driving drunk.
As the driver, you will have to comply and show the officer your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and car insurance. But remember that if you are pulled over at a checkpoint, you are under no legal obligation to answer an officer who asks if you have been drinking. If law enforcement deviates from stated rules under the law, a skilled DUI attorney can have the charges dropped or reduced if the sobriety checkpoint is not properly conducted.
Contact a Will County DUI Lawyer
If you are facing DUI charges after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. You need to be proactive and contact an experienced Will County DUI attorney to review your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.