DUI Checkpoints – What Should You Do When Driving Through One?

Posted On: January 21st, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

It can be intimidating to pass through a police roadblock, especially a DUI checkpoint—even if you haven’t had a drop to drink. People feel nervous, because they know that any perceived suspicious behavior could lead to further detention or even an arrest. That’s why knowing what to do when passing through at a DUI checkpoint is so important. It can help you feel more confident and, more importantly, keep you out of trouble.

When you see a DUI checkpoint ahead of you, you have the right to turn off the road or pull over and turn around. It’s important to remember, however, that any such behavior can be seen as suspicious by the officers on the scene—and breaking any traffic law, such as by making an illegal u-turn, is grounds to pull you over regardless. If you choose to move towards the checkpoint, keep both hands on the wheel, drive carefully, and move slowly but with the flow of traffic. You may simply be waved through rather than stopped. Rarely are all cars stopped. More likely, only every other car or every third car will be actually pulled over by police.

After You’ve Been Stopped at a DUI Roadblock

If you are stopped, don’t panic. Simply pull over, turn on your overhead light, keep your hands on the wheel, and follow police instructions. Generally, you will be asked for your license and registration, which you are required by law to provide. After that, be polite, but resist the urge to chat with police. At a DUI roadblock, just like in any other interaction with police, you have no obligation to answer any questions. Even innocent-seeming questions, such as “What were you doing tonight?” can be used as evidence against you later. Simply tell the officer that you would like to exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

You also have the right to politely refuse any field sobriety tests. Under Ohio law, these tests are not included in the implied consent laws and can be subjective. Taking the test only risks failure and further evidence against you. Generally, though, it won’t get this far. You should be waved through on your way home.

Not everyone is so lucky, of course. If you are arrested for a DUI, you will be taken into the police station for further investigation, At this point, you can be required to take a chemical test or risk administrative loss of your license, but you still have the right to refuse to answer questions without your attorney, which you should take advantage of. Once you are arrested for an OVI, you are in a very serious situation. Police are actively gathering evidence for a trial, and you face penalties that include months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

Call the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky OVI attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates right 24/7 at (513) 338-1890 to get someone to fight for your rights immediately. You should never go through the criminal justice process alone. Get a Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky OVI attorney on your side right away.