What You Should Know About DUI Checkpoints
Each year, dozens of DUI checkpoints are set up throughout the state of Kansas. Often referred to as sobriety or saturation checkpoints, the primary goal of these is to ensure that someone who gets behind the wheel after drinking thinks twice.
The Kansas DOT tries to use the fear of getting caught to discourage drinking and driving. While the checkpoints can be intimidating you should understand that you do have specific, constitutional rights. Knowing what these are is essential.
Your Rights at a Kansas DUI Checkpoint
If you encounter a DUI checkpoint, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- You have the right to say no to a field sobriety test. Be polite and ask why they are asking you to exit your car.
- You don’t have to consent to have your car searched. Unless the officer has probable cause, they are not allowed to search your vehicle. If they search without your consent, your defense lawyer may be able to argue an unlawful search1.
What to Avoid at a DUI Checkpoint
Along with knowing your rights, it is a good idea to know what you should avoid doing if you encounter this.
Never Run Through the Checkpoint
You should never drive through a DUI checkpoint unless an officer instructs you to do this. Also, don’t perform any seemingly illegal driving maneuvers, like making a U-turn to avoid going through it. If you run through this checkpoint, it can lead to worse consequences than if you were to simply comply with the officer’s requests.
Don’t Give Unnecessary Information
Unless the police have a reasonable level of suspicion that you are driving under the influence, you should only give information that you are legally required to. This includes your license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. Never voluntarily give the police any additional information, but make sure you are not combative or evasive with officers, either, as this is going to increase the likelihood you are detained.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you are detained or charged with a DUI at one of these checkpoints, you should contact an experienced defense attorney right away. They can review the details of your case and access the police report to ensure everything was done “by the book.” If there are issues or missteps on part of the police, they may be able to have your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Never ignore DUI charges. These come with serious and long-term consequences, even for a first-time offense. By hiring an attorney, you have someone looking out for your rights and your best interest. Contact Kitchin Law Firm today.