St. Clair, IL- With warmer weather right around the corner, there will be an increase in traffic and an increase in drunken drivers. To catch those drunken drivers, police set up sobriety checkpoints, and it’s likely at one point in time you are going to come across one of those roadblocks. That is why the legal team at USAttorneys would like to discuss your rights and what you should do if you encounter a sobriety checkpoint.
Sobriety checkpoints or roadblocks are legal in Illinois, so they can pop up anywhere. You can look for checkpoints in St. Clair and other Illinois cities on this website: http://www.roadblock.org.)
First, you need to that if you come across a sobriety checkpoint, you must stop. You can’t just breeze by an officer and continue your way; you have to stop. Of course, there is no law against making a U-turn and driving away from the checkpoint if you see it in time. It is your right to avoid contact with police, so you can turn around, but there is a risk that patrols cars will be hidden off to the side, and you get pulled over. Naturally, if you try to dodge a sobriety checkpoint, police will think you’re doing something wrong.
If you decide to go through the checkpoint, be prepared to be asked a lot of questions from officers who are trying to determine if you are impaired. Everything you say, and how you act will be heavily scrutinized by officers, so you need to act casual and try not to be nervous.
One of the first questions you are going to be asked if you’ve been drinking. The answer you give can have a negative affect your future since anything you say can be used against you. You have to think carefully before you answer and try to avoid lying. You’ll be better off if you say nothing but that could invite extra scrutiny. If you admit to having a drink, you are going to be arrested and charged with a DUI. Do yourself a favor and say as little as possible.
Be nice to police; they do a hard job, and most don’t deserve to be disrespected. Being rude or short with an officer can end up making matters worse. Stay calm and don’t let allow yourself to be provoked. Police know how to get confessions out of people and won’t shy away from manipulating you into admitting something that could become a legal problem down the road.
If you an officer thinks you might be intoxicated, they will ask you to participate in field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer. You can refuse, but doing so have major consequences that could be worse than the DUI itself.