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Things you should never do at a DUI checkpoint

Even though you understand the dangers and risks of driving under the influence of alcohol, it doesn't mean you will never find yourself being stopped at a DUI/OUI checkpoint.

When you least expect it, you could find yourself waiting in a line of cars at a law enforcement checkpoint on a holiday, at a special event or set up for another reason (or no apparent reason). If you have had a drink in the not-so-recent past, you're likely to be quite nervous.

How to proceed with caution

Regardless of your current level of sobriety, there are things you should and shouldn't do when encountering a DUI checkpoint. Here are a few things to avoid at all costs:

  • Avoid erratic driving. As you approach a DUI checkpoint, you want to drive smoothly to give police no reason to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • No visible alcohol containers in your car. Not only can this result in another traffic ticket, but it also gives the officer reason to believe that you have been drinking.
  • Don't backtalk, even if the officer isn't treating you with respect. The second you talk back is the second you'll find yourself in a more precarious situation. It's best to answer the questions, keep a straight face and do your best to move on as quickly as possible.
  • Don't complain about your rights as a driver. Even though you may not believe a DUI checkpoint is fair, you don't need to explain this to the officer. Doing so will only make you look guilty, and that's not something you need.
  • Don't get out of your vehicle. Unless prompted to do so, you should remain in your vehicle. You don't want the officer to perceive you as a threat.

These are some of the things you absolutely need to avoid at a DUI/OUI checkpoint. Fortunately, it's easy to do so if you keep a level head.

In the event of a DUI arrest and formal charges, you shouldn't wait a single day to learn more about the legal system and how to best protect your rights. There are steps you can take to ensure that you get a fair shake in court while doing your best to avoid a conviction.

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