The Fourth Amendment shields those in the U.S. from “unreasonable searches and seizures”. However, what falls under the protection of this section of the Constitution is subject to the interpretation of courts.
Massachusetts ruled that operating under the influence, or OUI, checkpoints are constitutional. It is legal for police officers to arrest drivers at these stops if they suspect them of intoxication. Individuals who did consume either of these prior to or while operating a vehicle may want to avoid certain actions to keep from making the situation worse.
1. Behaving rudely or belligerently
It is important to cooperate with law enforcement officers. Even when refusing to take field sobriety tests (legal in the state), it is vital for people to remain calm and polite to avoid escalating the situation or providing anything that may count as evidence against them in court.
2. Consenting to a search
Since these checkpoints and arrests are lawful, the police may perform a search even without the driver’s permission. This is likely to happen if they suspect any kind of wrongdoing. However, making a firm statement denying assent may offer a basis for building a case for defense in the future.
3. Admitting to incriminating behavior
Motor operators often try to wriggle out of situations by downplaying them. For instance, they might claim that they only partook of a small amount of a substance or that they are not actually drunk. Regardless of whether or not such statements are true, they are not wise to make as any words drivers utter may count against them.
Peaceful cooperation with police officers helps more than it hurts. When undergoing a stop at an OUI checkpoint, it is imperative to act rationally and cautiously to avoid granting ammunition to prosecutors.