Some Massachusetts motorists are surprised to find themselves facing a checkpoint set up to identify drunk drivers. As you approach an OUI/DUI checkpoint, you don't want to do anything to make matters worse or more complicated. Instead, your goal should be to answer any questions asked of you and move on with the rest of your evening.
Unfortunately, some people don't know the first thing about making their way through an OUI/DUI checkpoint. They panic and make mistakes, thus raising suspicions and putting them at greater risk of arrest.
What NOT to do
Here are five mistakes to avoid at a DUI/OUI checkpoint:
- Disobeying the rules of the road: For example, speeding or driving in an erratic manner will give police cause for concern. It will single you out, and that's not what you want at a checkpoint. As you make your approach, slow down your vehicle and carefully remain in your lane.
- Drinking and driving: If you have an open container of alcohol in your car, you can be sure that you'll find yourself in trouble. Even if you're not over the legal limit to drive, it's still against the law.
- Talking back: You're upset that you have to waste your time with a DUI/OUI checkpoint. You're annoyed that you may find yourself in trouble with the law. These types of feelings can cause you to talk back, which greatly increases your chance of trouble. The best way to avoid this is to simply answer questions and leave it at that. Don't attempt to add anything unnecessary to the conversation.
- Complaining about your legal rights: Telling the officer they don't have the right to set up a DUI checkpoint is a big mistake. Not only are you wrong, but it will force them to take a closer look at you and your vehicle.
- Making an illegal U-turn: You don't want to go through the checkpoint, so the first thing you think about is turning around and speeding away. It's legal to turn around, but not if you make an illegal U-turn to do so.
Know and protect your rights
You can avoid these mistakes, and others, by keeping your cool and knowing your legal rights. If a DUI checkpoint leads to your arrest, don't wait around to take action. Learn more about the charges, compare defense strategies and prepare for your day in court. Remember, a DUI or OUI charge does not necessarily result in a conviction.