Philadelphia, PA- DUI checkpoints are common throughout Philly and one day you might run across one. Pennsylvania is one of the dozens of states that allow police to set up a DUI checkpoint. If you do come across a DUI checkpoint, do you know what your rights are? Many people don’t, but they should. USAttorneys will talk about your rights and explain what you should and should not do at a DUI checkpoint.
Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies, set up several hundred DUI checkpoints throughout the state every year, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. Law enforcement considers roadblocks as a useful tool to curtail drunken driving, so most motorists eventually find themselves at a checkpoint.
First, if you come across a roadblock, you must stop! You can’t breeze through a checkpoint though you may be tempted to try. But no law says you can’t turn around before you reach the checkpoint. That too has risks and could get the attention of police because they expect people to do that and often have patrol cars stationed near areas where motorists may try to turn around. Attempting to turn around gives police the impression that you might be doing something wrong.
The entire point of a DUI checkpoint is to get drunk drivers off of the road, so when you stop, police are going to ask you a host of questions. An officer is going to scrutinize your actions and everything you say. Some of the questions you’ll face can include: What are doing tonight? Have you had anything to drink tonight? If you did have a drink with lunch or dinner? How you answer is going to dictate how the rest of your night or day is going to unfold, so you have to be careful about what you say. If you lie and police find out that you are intoxicated, later on, you could harm your defense. You need to answer the officer’s questions but say as little as you can while also being truthful.
If you admit to having a drink, you will be put through a battery of field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. You can refuse these tests, but there is a different set of consequences for violating Pennsylvania’s implied consent laws.
When you are at a checkpoint, you need to be respectful to a police officer. No one wants to be stopped at a roadblock, but it’s something you just have to deal with and the less contrary you act, the sooner you can be on your way. Don’t cuss at an officer and remain calm. Police are trained to trip you up so try not to say anything damaging.
If you are charged with a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint, USAttorneys recommends you get legal advice as soon as possible. We can connect you with a DUI lawyer in Philadelphia to help you with all stages of your case.