While drunk driving checkpoints are mostly common during holiday weekends where large parties and gatherings take place, many states also set them up randomly to catch those who may be driving under the influence. If you find yourself pulled over at one of these checkpoints after having a few drinks, there are a few actions you may want to avoid that could make your situation worse.
- Avoiding the Checkpoint
If you suddenly find yourself in line at an unexpected DWI inspection, trying to avoid it by turning around or pulling into the nearest driveway with your lights off may only make you look immediately guilty. If you make an illegal u-turn or break another traffic law to avoid the police, an officer has the right and reason to pull you over anyway, so it is wise to stay calm and proceed as directed.
- Combative Behavior
Acting aggressively or non-compliant at a checkpoint may give officers more reason to detain you. If you are asked to get out of your vehicle and submit to field sobriety tests, cooperation may go a long way in what could happen next. While you do have the right to refrain from speaking until you can contact your attorney, compliance in other matters may help you avoid additional fines.
- Refusal of a Breathalyzer Test
You may believe you have the right to refuse any field sobriety test, including a breathalyzer reading, but doing so could result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Most states operate under implied consent, which means that drivers consent to checkpoint questions and tests in exchange for their driving privileges. You may also be subject to considerable fines later on during your DWI trial.
- Admitting Your Guilt
When you pull up to the checkpoint, you may be compelled to admit you have been drinking. However, doing so could have serious consequences for the future and allow the officer to arrest you on the spot. Instead, remain calm and answer any questions to the best of your ability. If you are arrested on suspicion of DWI, it may be a good idea to remain silent until you can contact your attorney.
Encountering an unexpected DWI checkpoint can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you know you have alcohol in your system. Knowing how to proceed could help you avoid a few errors that might make matters worse, so reach out to a DWI lawyer in Fairfax, VA, like from May Law, LLP, today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.