With the holiday season upon us, people are getting ready to celebrate with family and friends. For many, this often involves drinking alcohol. The police will be on Virginia’s highways and roads trying to identify and arrest drunk drivers. DUI checkpoints may be used during the holiday season, as well. Knowing what to expect at these checkpoints could help you avoid a DUI arrest.
4 Rules Police Must Follow at DUI Checkpoints
DUI checkpoints are permissible under Virginia law. However, the police must follow specific rules and guidelines to ensure they do not violate a person’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Important procedures the police must follow include:
- The checkpoint must be publicized. The police are required to publicize the DUI checkpoint in advance. You can generally find this information in the “news section” of your local police website and through the newspaper or television shows.
- All vehicles cannot be stopped. The police are not permitted to stop every vehicle at the checkpoint. Instead, they use a mathematical formula, such as stopping every fourth vehicle, which could vary between different checkpoints.
- Police can pull over people who violate traffic laws. Police can stop people who violate traffic laws. This includes drivers that make an illegal U-turn to get out of the checkpoint line, speed, or drive erratically.
- Police cannot administer alcohol tests to everyone. The police can only administer a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test if they have probable cause to believe the driver is intoxicated.
If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you should remain calm and be polite. However, remember that you do not have to allow the police to search your vehicle or answer any questions regarding where you have been.
If you are arrested for DUI at a DUI checkpoint, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side that can raise all possible defenses. We may be able to help get the charges dismissed or your sentence reduced to the least amount possible. Fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights.