Colorado’s state constitution upholds that checkpoints for DUI are legal in the state. Because of this, DUI checkpoints are commonly used to help catch people driving under the influence and for the ticket and penalty revenues that often result, particularly in high-traffic times during the holiday periods.
If you are ever at a DUI checkpoint, there are some things you should never attempt to do. Should you make a mistake at a checkpoint and need legal help, remember to contact a lawyer in Denver, CO, as soon as you can for assistance.
Do Not Break Any Traffic Laws
While you are allowed by law to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint you see up ahead, you can never break driving rules to do so. The police will be watching for vehicles that are trying to avoid the checkpoint, so any breach of the road rules will result in you being pulled over and possibly charged with whatever the violation was, even if you are not driving under the influence. Things such as illegal U-turns will only land you in potential hot water.
Do Not Tell Law Enforcement Officers What You Drank
At a DUI checkpoint, one very common question law enforcement officers ask is how many drinks you had that night. The very best answer to this particular question is no answer to begin with. Here, the officers are looking for a reason to stop you at the checkpoint, and if you admit you had even a drop of alcohol, you’re probably going to be asked to pull over for even more questioning. However, if you don’t provide a real answer, they have no immediate reason to have you pull over and no statement to use against you later in court during a DUI case.
Do Not Complain about the Checkpoint or Backtalk the Officer
If you are rude in any way to a law enforcement officer at a DUI checkpoint or you complain about how inconvenient it is, you’re probably going to run into trouble. Always be courteous with and polite to any law enforcement officer you interact with, even when that officer does not act the same way with you. Any time you are rude or disrespectful to a law enforcement officer, you will draw attention to yourself, and this negative attention can result in an arrest or citation. Overall, you have to stay civil and be polite regardless of the circumstances.
Keep in mind that if you feel an officer has crossed a line, you can take action later. Note the officer’s badge number if you can —or their name, at the very least— and let an attorney know about what happened. They will advise you on the next steps to take to address the officer and what happened.
If you find yourself in hot water after a DUI checkpoint, remember that you still have rights. Speak to a DUI lawyer in Denver, CO about what happened as soon as you can so they can work on defending you and your right to drive.
Thanks to the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into what not to do at a DUI checkpoint.