The best way to pass through a DUI checkpoint is to not be the one driving. Always have a designated driver if you’re planning to go out and have a drink or two! If you are stopped when you have been drinking and driving, you may be tempted to try to avoid the checkpoint or talk your way out of it. That’s not advisable, and can have a serious negative impact if you’re over the legal limit.
DUI and OVI checkpoints in Cincinnati, OH operate under the principle that the government’s duty to protect citizens against drunk drivers outweighs the negligible impact the checkpoints have on law-abiding citizens. However, that doesn’t mean that every DUI or OVI checkpoint is legal under both federal and state law—the checkpoint operators have strict laws governing what they can and cannot do, and 10 states prohibit them entirely. Law enforcement is also allowed to stop people outside of checkpoints when they suspect you’re driving under the influence.
Your lawyer will be able to evaluate whether the checkpoint broke any rules. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is cooperate, stay calm and follow these simple guidelines:
- Don’t avoid the checkpoint: One of the worst things you can do is attempt to avoid the checkpoint by turning around in view of officers, or try to run through it. In fact, doing so may give officers legal authority to pursue you!
- Just the (necessary) facts: When you’re stopped at a checkpoint, unless the officer has reasonable suspicion that you’re driving under the influence—which can manifest as alcohol on the breath, slurred speech and other characteristics, among other clues—they can only legally ask you to show your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. Don’t volunteer unnecessary information (“I only had two beers tonight, officer!”), since your entire interaction can be used against you in court.
- Cooperate: If you’re detained under suspicion of DUI or OVI, it’s best to cooperate with the police if they ask for a sobriety test. Legally, you can refuse, but it may make your case worse. Each state has an “implied consent” law, where, by driving, you agree to certain conditions. These conditions include having a valid driver’s license and include remaining in control of your vehicle at all times, as well as submitting to breath, urine and blood tests when requested.
- Call a lawyer: If you’ve been arrested or charged with a DUI or OVI, call a lawyer. DUI and OVI attorneys are intimately familiar with the laws regarding DUI and OVI checkpoints, and will fight to ensure the officers followed them. They’ll also fight for your rights and help you mitigate damages if you’re found to be at fault.
If you’ve been stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Cincinnati, OH and need help resolving your legal situation, call the experienced team at Herzner Law, LLC. We’ll give you the zealous representation you deserve. Reach out to us today to learn more or schedule a consultation.
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