With some of the strictest D.U.I. laws in the nation, Arizona citizens face scrutiny pertaining to driving under the influence on many occasions. One such occasion is a D.U.I. checkpoint, which is a random stop point in which police officers work to catch drivers who have been drinking and driving. If you become subject to a D.U.I. checkpoint, it is best to know the proper steps to keep you and your passengers safe and keep your rights protected. Here are some steps to make sure that if you are stopped at a D.U.I. checkpoint, you know what to do.
Pay attention to times when stops are likely to occur. D.U.I. checkpoints are more likely to occur during the evening hours, weekends, and holidays. Search the internet to see if there are going to be any checkpoints soon in your area, and try to avoid the roads at peak checkpoint times if possible.
Make sure you always have your license and registration handy and in a safe place. Wasting time searching for your license or registration can create a stressful environment for both you and the officer, which can lead to suspicion. Having the proper paperwork ready when asked will mean a faster process and will also help you remain calm.
Don't supply any information you do not have to. You have the right to remain silent, so do not self-incriminate by giving the officer any information about where you have been or any past alcohol use. Make sure to remain polite, but feel free to refuse to answer any questions that you feel may put you at risk.
Know who and what is in your car. You are responsible for all passengers in your vehicle, and if anything illegal is found within your vehicle, it can mean D.U.I. charges for you. Make sure to know who is in your vehicle and what they have in their possession to keep yourself and other passengers safe.
Most of all remain calm and respectful. The goal of these stops isn't to inconvenience you, it is to find people breaking the law and ultimately to keep you safe. Staying calm, knowing your rights, and being polite to the officer who has stopped you is essential to a positive D.U.I. checkpoint experience.
Contact the lawyers at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod for a free initial legal consultation if you find yourself facing criminal or D.U.I. charges. Craig's office has been involved in criminal and D.U.I. defense for more than 25 years. Craig is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, is AV® rated, the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell®, is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®, and has been selected for inclusion in Southwest Super Lawyers™ Editions 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.