Police forces throughout Texas have been taking an increasingly aggressive approach to catching drunk drivers by using DUI checkpoints more frequently than they have in the past. Although DUI checkpoints are constitutional under both federal and Texas state law, police must follow certain guidelines.
Can I Avoid an Established DUI Checkpoint?
You have the right to avoid a DUI checkpoint if you can do so legally and safely without breaking any traffic laws. For example, if you see a DUI checkpoint down the road, you can legally change course by turning onto a different street before the checkpoint.
Do I Have to Provide My License and Registration?
When your car is stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you are required to provide the police with your driver’s license and registration if asked. This a legal obligation you undertake whenever you drive a vehicle on public roads. Don’t resist and don’t become angry or uncooperative, it will only make your situation worse and give the officers a reason to detain you.
Do I Have to Answer Questions?
Although you must provide your license and registration if asked, the Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination, so you do not have to answer any of the police officer’s other questions, nor must you submit to field sobriety tests. You have the right to have an attorney present before answering any questions asked by police, whether you have been charged or not. Police must stop all questioning when you invoke this right.
When Can Police Arrest Me at a DUI Checkpoint?
Police must have probable cause to make an arrest at a DUI checkpoint. This means there must be reasonable evidence of a crime and specific facts, such as slurred speech or open alcohol containers in plain view before the officer can place you under arrest. Police cannot search you or your car unless they first initiate a valid arrest or have probable cause that there is evidence of a crime on your person or in your car. The police can also search your car if you consent to the search, however, you should never agree to a search without first consulting with a criminal defense attorney.
Consult with a Dedicated DUI Lawyer Today
If you have been arrested for drunk or drug-impaired driving, then you need to seek qualified legal representation as soon as possible. At LaHood Norton Law Group, we are committed to helping individuals throughout San Antonio navigate DUI cases, and we are prepared to put our skills to work for you today.
Contact our law firm at (210) 801-9400 to request a free consultation with our DUI lawyers.