Every year, over 41,900 motorists are arrested for driving under the influence in the state of Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Some of these arrests take place at sobriety checkpoints, where law enforcement officers randomly check for signs of impairment to protect others on the road. It is important for all drivers to understand their rights when it comes to these checkpoints to avoid being taken advantage of in these intimidating situations.
Below is some information you should know regarding DUI checkpoints in Illinois:
- Answering questions: If you are stopped at a checkpoint, one of the first things a police officer will do is ask you some questions. The answers you provide will determine if they should investigate further into the situation. Oftentimes, drivers assume they are supposed to answer the officer’s questions, but this is actually not true. You have a right to refuse to answer any of these questions. This does not necessarily mean you will not be arrested. However, this will ensure that, if charges are brought against you, there will be minimal evidence against to support them.
- Field sobriety tests: If a law enforcement officer suspects that you have been drinking and driving, you will likely be asked to perform some field sobriety tests. You might feel obligated to comply with this request, but you are actually not required to perform them, so it is in your best interest that you politely decline to do so. Field sobriety tests are notoriously difficult for just about anyone, sober or drunk, to perform, so do not make it easier for the authorities to prove a case against you by agreeing to partake in these tests.
- Submitting to a breath test: Before receiving a ticket or being arrested, you have the right to refuse a preliminary breath test without any consequences. Once you receive a ticket or have been placed under arrest, you will be required to submit to chemical testing and, if you refuse, there will be consequences, including the suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year. Refusing to submit to a breath test after being ticketed or arrested could also be used as further evidence against you in criminal proceedings.
Ultimately, there is very little you are actually required to submit to at a DUI checkpoint. If a law enforcement officer has already decided that there is probable cause to arrest you, refusing to submit to any tests or to answer any questions will not prevent this from happening, but it will help ensure that you do not contribute any evidence to a case against you.
DUI Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago
If you are currently facing DUI charges, it is imperative that you obtain skilled legal representation as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. Oftentimes, people resign themselves to defeat and assume that these charges will automatically lead to a conviction. This is far from the truth. At the Law Office of Steven Fine, our criminal defense attorney in Chicago will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure that you are able to secure the most favorable results possible for your case.
Get started on protecting your rights and future today and contact our law office at (312) 436-0638 to discuss your legal options with our knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.