You don’t have to stop at a DUI checkpoint if you can avoid it. If you encounter a DUI checkpoint and intend to pass through it, however, you must stop. When you stop at a DUI checkpoint, you must provide a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance, and you must comply with any order to exit your vehicle. You don’t have to do anything else unless you’re arrested.
With the holidays coming up – especially New Year’s Eve – law enforcement is bound to ramp up its enforcement against driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. With this in mind, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as they relate to DUI checkpoints in Illinois.
Can I Turn Around to Avoid a DUI Checkpoint?
Yes! As long as it’s lawful to make a U-turn before you reach the DUI checkpoint, you can legally do so to avoid it.
Keep in mind, however, that police officers may establish a DUI checkpoint specifically at a location where it’s illegal to make a U-turn. If you violate any traffic laws to avoid a DUI checkpoint, the police may – and probably will – initiate a traffic stop. At that point, you may also be investigated for DUI.
What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint?
When you pass through a DUI checkpoint, a police officer will direct you to stop your vehicle. They will then approach your window and ask you to provide your license and registration. They may also ask you questions about your night or if you have been drinking, but you don’t have to answer any such question.
If the police officer believes you are sober enough to drive, they will quickly release you, and you’ll be on your way. If they suspect you aren’t completely sober, however, they may conduct a more thorough investigation.
Do I Have to Do Field Sobriety Tests?
Whether you’re at a DUI checkpoint or stopped by a police officer on the road, you never have to perform a field sobriety test. If a police officer asks you to participate in one, you can safely decline without fear of any legal penalty for doing so.
When Do I Have to Take a Breathalyzer Test?
If you aren’t under arrest, you don’t have to take a breathalyzer test. If a police officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test before you’re wearing handcuffs, this is called a Preliminary Breath Screening Test, and it’s completely voluntary. The purpose of this test is to establish probable cause to initiate an arrest.
If you are under arrest, you must submit to an Evidentiary Breath Test. Failure to submit to this test, or a chemical test of your blood or urine, will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license – even if you aren’t charged or convicted of DUI.
What Should I Do If I Get Arrested for DUI?
If you are arrested for DUI, invoke your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel. You don’t have to discuss your arrest or answer any police investigator’s questions, and you shouldn’t unless your attorney is present.
When you need help fighting DUI charges, our capable attorney at the Law Office of Steven Fine can help. Learn more about our criminal defense services during a free consultation.
Contact us online to get started now.