Common Mistakes People Make at DUI Checkpoints AZ
Have you ever been pulled over at an Arizona DUI checkpoint? Do you know how to act during such an interaction with law enforcement professionals? Nervousness and the lack of knowledge about their rights make many people commit basic mistakes during a DUI checkpoint.
Here are some of the most common errors, their potential effect and the correct way to act and ensure a worry-free interaction with the police officers at the checkpoint.
Acting Aggressively or Defensively
A DUI checkpoint encounter is far from enjoyable but your behavior could make things much worse than they need to be.
Aggressive or defensive behavior could make the situation worse.
You need to cooperate with the law enforcement professional. Provide documents and step out of the vehicle if you’re asked to. Talking back, cursing the police officer or refusing to cooperate will eventually lead to additional charges that you really don’t need to be dealing with.
Violating Traffic Regulations to Avoid the Checkpoint
In Arizona, a DUI checkpoint and its location have to be announced in advance. You’re not legally obliged to pass through the checkpoint. Even if you forget that one is taking place, you can do a U-turn to eliminate the risk of interactions with law enforcement professionals.
When doing so, however, you have to follow traffic regulations.
A failure to signal the fact that you’re going to turn or doing a U-turn at a spot when you simply cannot do so will provide the law enforcement team with reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
Speeding Through a Checkpoint
Once you see the DUI checkpoint ahead of you, it would be best to slow down. You cannot be driving at a very high speed because you’ll find it impossible to pull over if the law enforcement professionals signal for you to do so.
Speeding through a DUI checkpoint will once again provide police officers with reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Thus, you will once again have to interact with the law enforcement professionals but they’ll now pay extra-close attention to your behavior.
Answering Questions at the Checkpoint
Arizona police officers are trained to extract self-incriminatory information from the drivers that they interact with.
You should refrain from answering questions like where you’re coming from and whether you’ve consumed alcohol. If you have passengers in the car, instruct them to refrain from giving the police officers such information, as well.
While cooperating is essential, it’s your constitutional right to remain silent.
Doing a Field Sobriety Test
Police officers could ask you to do a field sobriety test as a part of the DUI checkpoint stop. In Arizona, you have the legal right to refuse without any consequences.
Field sobriety tests are used to determine impairment. Their results, however, could be misleading. In addition, field sobriety tests could be affected by the age of a person, their weight and medical conditions.
While you cannot refuse a chemical BAC test, a field sobriety test is something that you should definitely avoid participating in.
Agreeing to Have Police Officers Searching Your Car
Police officers do not have the right to perform a search of your vehicle without probable cause.
At a DUI checkpoint, you could be asked to consent to such a search. Giving your permission is a huge mistake.
You have a right to privacy that cannot be taken away from you without probable cause. Giving this right up may have consequences, which is why cooperating to such an extent is going to do more harm than good.
If you know that a DUI checkpoint will be taking place on a road that you use frequently, you should either rely on an alternate route or you should get a good idea about your rights. Otherwise, you could do too much in your attempt to cooperate, which will have eventual consequences.
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