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DUI checkpoint mistakes: Don’t go down the wrong path

From one side of the country to the next, law enforcement officials are using DUI checkpoints as a means of getting drunk drivers off the road. While this is a proven way to reduce drunk driving, it's also something that scares many people.

If you find yourself out and about and driving straight into a DUI checkpoint, it's important that you know what you should and shouldn't do.

Here are five mistakes that many people make, but you need to avoid:

  • Don't drink and drive in the first place. As long as you are 100 percent sober at a DUI checkpoint you don't have anything to worry about. Police can do whatever they want, but if you don't have alcohol in your system a DUI charge won't come into play.
  • Don't drive erratically. This is a telltale sign that you are under the influence of alcohol, so stay in your lane and slow down as you approach the checkpoint.
  • Don't talk back to the officer. No matter what's going through your mind, you should only have one goal: Answer what's asked of you, provide the necessary information and move on. Talking back is only going to complicate the situation.
  • Leave the alcohol in your trunk. If you're transporting alcohol, for example, it's best to put it in your trunk. Along with this, you should never keep an open container in your vehicle.
  • Don't complain about your rights. Even if you don't agree with it, DUI checkpoints are 100 percent legal. Telling officers that they don't have the right to stop you is a big mistake, as this will give them more reason to dig deeper.

You never want to make a mistake when it comes time to go through a DUI checkpoint, as any mishap can increase the likelihood of an arrest.

If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, make sure you immediately begin to collect more information about what went wrong and how you were treated.

Once you have things sorted out, focus on the court system and the type of defense strategy that can best protect your legal rights.

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DUI checkpoint mistakes: Don’t go down the wrong path | Jim Ryan & Associates