Requirements for a DUI Checkpoint

Not all states permit law enforcement to conduct DUI checkpoints. Those states that do permit drunk driving checkpoints have very specific rules for conducting and enforcing DUI checkpoints that police officers must follow. If the DUI checkpoint meets your state’s requirements, then law enforcement officers can stop you to determine if you are driving while intoxicated. Failure to set up a valid DUI checkpoint can result in a suppression of evidence and a dismissal of a DUI case.

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If I am stopped and the officer asks me if I’ve been drinking, what should I say?

You have several options if you are stopped by law enforcement for suspicion of drunk driving, and you are asked if you’ve had anything to drink. All of these options have their own potential consequences, depending on how much you’ve had to drink and the personality and mood of the individual officer handling the DUI stop. If you have been drinking and are over the legal blood alcohol limit, nothing can keep the officer from arresting you for drunk driving. But, choosing the appropriate option for the right situation may help your DUI case down the road.

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If I’m pulled over, what types of DUI roadside tests can the officer ask me to perform?

If you are pulled over and a police officer suspects that you have been drinking, he or she will ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs). The driver will generally be asked to perform simple tests to measure their physical dexterity or mental acuity. These types of field sobriety tests are known as divided attention tests, because they test the types of abilities that are needed to operate a motor vehicle.

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Can I refuse to take a roadside breath test or other field sobriety tests?

You have the option of refusing a roadside sobriety test, but each individual situation will depend on a number of factors. A ‘roadside breath test,’ also called a preliminary alcohol screening test or ‘PAS,’ indicates the presence of alcohol based on a breath sample. Unlike the chemical test, where refusal to submit may have serious consequences, in most states you are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests or FSTs. However, keep in mind that your refusal may suggest to the officer that you have something to hide and incite further examination of whether or not you have been drinking.

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What is the officer looking for leading up to and during a DUI arrest?

This first list contains the basic indicators that police officers are taught to look for when deciding if the way a person is driving suggests that they are intoxicated and whether they may be driving drunk. The second list is of various symptoms of intoxication that help a police officer determine if a DUI arrest is necessary after they have already pulled you over.

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