The state of Georgia permits warrantless DUI checkpoints, so there could come a point when you find yourself face to face with a police officer.
There are many steps you can take to protect your legal rights as you arrive at and proceed through a checkpoint. Here’s what you should do:
- Slow down: Don’t give officers any reason to believe you’re under the influence or that you intend to speed through the stop. As soon as you see a checkpoint ahead, slow down and take caution as you move toward the officer.
- Don’t say too much: As the officer arrives at your window, wait for them to give you direction as to what you should do next. They’ll start by asking to see your license, registration and proof of insurance. From there, they may ask where you’re going or if you’ve been drinking. Concise answers are best.
- Don’t admit to anything: Even if you’ve been drinking alcohol, don’t admit to it. For example, don’t say that you only consumed a couple drinks a few hours ago. Not only does it raise suspicions, but it can be used against you in court.
- Don’t assume you have to take a field sobriety test: It’s within your legal rights to decline a field sobriety test. Yes, it gives the officer more reason to believe you’re drunk, but they can’t force you to partake.
- Don’t resist arrest: If you’re put under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, follow directions and remain calm throughout. Should you fight back, it could lead to other criminal charges, such as resisting arrest.
It’s your hope that taking these steps will allow you to quickly travel through a DUI checkpoint without trouble. However, this doesn’t always happen.
If you’re put under arrest, there’s nothing else you can do to prevent formal criminal charges. At this point, your attention should turn to the specifics of your charges and the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.
With a variety of DUI defense strategies to consider, you should be able to settle on one that gives you the best chance of preventing a conviction.