9 No-Nos at DUI Checkpoints
At DUI checkpoints from coast to coast, law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drunken driving. You don't want to end your Labor Day weekend with a DUI arrest.
To help you avoid the unpleasantness that follows a drunken driving conviction, here are nine "no-nos" to avoid when you encounter a DUI checkpoint:
- NO drinking and driving! Yes, it's a no-brainer, but since there are nine of these, let's get the obvious ones out of the way first. If you don't drink and drive, a DUI checkpoint will be at most an inconvenience.
- NO erratic driving near checkpoints. Police only need reasonable suspicion to pull your vehicle over for a regular DUI stop, and driving extremely slowly or stopping because you spot a DUI checkpoint may be enough to have an officer pull you over.
- NO alcohol bottles in your car. Aside from landing you a ticket for having an open container, empty or full bottles of booze may cue an officer to perform a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test on you, regardless of whether you seem sober.
- NO backtalk. If you talk back to an officer at a DUI checkpoint, even if you're a passenger, you can be arrested for obstruction of justice. Just ask Reese Witherspoon.
- NO aggressive or erratic movements. Officers at a DUI checkpoint aren't expecting danger, but if you give them cause to believe you may be armed and dangerous, they may search your vehicle.
- NO guns in your lap. You may have the Second Amendment right to carry a gun in your car, but most states, like Texas, require firearms to not be in "plain view." Make sure your gun is in the glove box or trunk.
- NO driving drunk with children in the car. Even though you may be close to your children, a DUI arrest with kids in the car can mean serious enhancements to your punishment, so leave the tikes at home.
- "KNOW" where checkpoints are going to be. Especially on the larger partying holidays like Halloween, New Year's, and even Labor Day, law enforcement may pre-publish the locations of DUI checkpoints in an attempt to curb drunken driving. Take the hint and don't drive in those areas.
- NO complaining about "your rights." Civil rights violations can be discussed later with your attorney. In general, DUI checkpoints are completely legal, so whining about "rights" will only serve to antagonize officers and encourage them to focus on you.
Say no to these nine "no-nos" and say yes to safety and avoiding arrest.