Every time a popular holiday appears on a calendar, you can be sure that highway patrol departments are going to set up DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints around your town. In May 2016, the biggest holiday is Memorial Day and the weekend of the 27th to the 30th. If you are planning on going out with friends and family to enjoy fun company and a few alcoholic beverages, there are a few things you should know about DUI checkpoints ahead of time, and how you can stay out of trouble.
- Notification: If you get pulled over by the police, they need to have a reason. So, what is their reason if everyone going down a stretch of highway is getting stopped? They don’t really have one, other than “We are trying to trap drunk drivers.” To balance out the fairness of this system, DUI checkpoints can’t just pop up without warning; instead, notifications of time, date, and locations must be posted in public forums. Check local newspapers and the websites of local police departments for DUI checkpoint updates this Memorial Day Weekend.
- Behavior: Just because an officer wants to talk to you at a DUI checkpoint doesn’t mean you are being detained, arrested, and certainly not convicted of any crimes. Remember to remain calm and courteous at DUI checkpoints to help speed things along; having your identification ready is a fast free hint, for they will ask the vast majority of drivers they stop for it. Don’t let your cooperation lead to incrimination, though. If you feel like the officers are asking leading questions that could put you in handcuffs – “How many drinks did you have tonight?” – it is time to remain respectfully silent.
- Sobriety: The number one way to remain out of trouble when it comes to DUI checkpoints is to not drink and drive. When you and all your passengers get home safely at the end of the night, you are definitely going to be thankful of your decision. If you are set on having some drinks to celebrate the holiday, assign a friend to be a designated driver, pace your drinks to one every two hours with a full glass of water and food every other hour, or use a taxi or ridesharing service to bring you home. If you feel buzzed, your driver ability is inhibited already, and you should not drive.
For more information about DUI checkpoints, or for help fighting a DUI charge you feel is unjustified, contact Carlson & Dumeer, LLC. Our Hartford DUI lawyers would be happy to explain your rights during a free initial consultation.