Orange County & Los Angeles DUI Checkpoints
Have you been stopped at a DUI checkpoint?
It is common for the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies to make massive sweeps looking for drunk drivers in Orange County. These sweeps utilize sobriety checkpoints to stop drivers and systematically select drivers to assess their level of alcohol impairment. These interventions are done to deter alcohol-impaired driving as a whole, but also to arrest as many offenders as possible at one time.
One of the most highly debated police tactics used today is the sobriety checkpoint. Those who are proponents of the sobriety checkpoint argue that these stops are a scare tactic that effectively reduces the number of drunk drivers on the road. Opponents of sobriety checkpoints argue that they are an inconvenience to many innocent people, are a waste of money, and don’t yield enough results. These checkpoints are often located throughout major metropolitan cities and are set up along thoroughfares leading to interstate highways or intersections. Law enforcement agencies will also place “chase” cars at each roadblock location to chase down any drivers who turn around or run away from a roadblock. Regardless of what your reason for turning around may be, these “chase” officers will assume that you are suspicious because you have turned around.
In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional, but since then some states have prohibited them. Orange County law enforcement agencies still conduct these checkpoints, and our firm has seen countless individuals arrested for DUI and drugged driving as result. Our skilled Orange County DUI attorney has provided the following tips for how to survive a DUI checkpoint and how to protect your rights.
Tips for Surviving DUI Checkpoints
First, be polite and know your rights. California law requires you to carry your license, registration and insurance information in your vehicle, and you should present these to the officer for review. You should answer the officer’s questions in a polite manner, but you are not required to engage in idle conversation. Keep in mind that every question you are asked is intended to intimidate and possibly incriminate you. Police officers do not have the right to force you to divulge where you are coming from, what you have been doing, and how much alcohol you have consumed. You are legally allowed to politely decline to answer, but you should never lie. Police officers are also not allowed to detain you without reasonable cause, so there is a good chance that they will let you go. Officers will often look for signs like the scent of alcohol, any visible alcohol beverages or drugs, or a driver who has slurred speech, watery-red eyes, or other signs of physical impairment.
Keep in mind that you do not have to take field sobriety or breath tests. These tests are known as unreliable indicators of intoxication, and may lead to a false arrest. According to California DUI law, you cannot be forced to take or participate in these tests. Despite this law, you can be arrested for refusing to take these tests. This is where it is especially important to remain polite and under control. If you are arrested, you may be required to give a blood or breath sample, and refusing these tests may result in a driver’s license suspension of at least one year.
Not only is the police officer checking to see if you are driving impaired, but the officer is also checking to see if you have a driver’s license. You may be arrested if you are driving without a license in California, or are driving with a suspended license. Whatever your situation may be, it is imperative that you understand your rights and enlist the help of an Orange County DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Finally, many people do not realize that drivers who do not wish to stop at the DUI checkpoint must be allowed to leave. This interesting fact can save many drivers from the trouble of having to wait and go through a checkpoint. If you choose to exercise this right, police officers do not have the right to stop you unless you have committed a traffic violation or display signs of obvious intoxication.
Why hire an Orange County DUI lawyer?
With the help of a skilled DUI defense attorney, you may be able to have your DUI charges reduced or dismissed completely. Our firm will devote time and effort to determine if the proper legal requirements were followed at the checkpoint, such as the rules regarding when and how DUI roadblocks should be operated. Supervising officers must be in charge of these DUI checkpoints and they will determine how, where, and when these checkpoints will operate. Call The Law Offices of Thomas Wallin today to learn more about your rights at a checkpoint and how our team can defend you!
Our Orange County DUI attorney is dedicated to understanding and practicing drunk driving defense. We know the constitutional requirements of checkpoints and will help you to understand your rights. From the California Department of Motor Vehicles hearing to the Orange County Criminal Court case, we will protect your rights and provide you with tough defense every step along the way.
Call our Orange County DUI lawyer today at (877)DUI-PROS to learn how we can help you and protect you from the destructive penalties of a DUI conviction in Orange County.