St. Paul, MN- Memorial Day, the first holiday of summer is just a couple of weeks away, so motorists can expect to see an increase in traffic. Unfortunately, along with the increase in traffic, there is also an increase in drunken driving and DUI checkpoints. That is why you need to know what your rights are and what you need to do if you are stopped this Memorial Day weekend.
A small number of states have laws against sobriety checkpoints. Texas is one, but motorists in St. Paul may be disappointed to learn that Minnesota law allows for sobriety checkpoints, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. That means at some point in your life you are going to run across a sobriety checkpoint, so you need to know what to do and not to do.
If you happen to run across a roadblock, you have to stop. It may be tempting to try and breeze through or ignore an officer, but those are bad ideas, and you could end up getting in more trouble. However, there is no law stopping you from turning around and avoid the road block altogether, though that also has risks. Most law enforcement agencies expect some motorists to try and turn around, so they’ll station officers near key spots to pull those drivers over. And, of course, should you try to avoid a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement is going to think you’re intoxicated or doing something wrong.
The goal of a checkpoint is to find out if you’ve been drinking, so they will ask you many questions. They will scrutinize everything you say, how you say and how you act throughout the stop. If you seem nervous, police may think your drunk.
One of the questions you’ll face is: Have you been drinking? Or, are you on drugs? Answering this question can be tricky. If you happen to have had a drink or two and admit it to an officer, you could be charged with a DUI. If you lie and if it is later determined that you were intoxicated, you can do serious damage to your defense. Say as little as can but answer the officer’s questions truthfully.
Be respectful to officers. Nobody really wants to be stopped at a checkpoint, but it’s just one of those things you have to deal with a motorist. Don’t be rude to officers or curse at them or you could make your charges worse. Stay calm and don’t let your temper make things worse. Police know how to push buttons and get a rise out of you in the hopes you’ll slip up and say something damaging.
When an officer asks you to submit to sobriety tests, which involve a breathalyzer, you can refuse or participate. Either choice could have consequences, the degree of which depends on a variety of circumstances.
USAttorneys recommends you get legal assistance if you are facing a DUI charge in Minnesota. If you live in St. Paul, we can connect you with a local DUI attorney to work on your defense. They can help you avoid a DUI conviction or argue for a plea bargain. Whatever route you want to pursue, you could use expert legal help.