Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a mistake on many fronts, including the fact that it increases the risk of an accident and can result in your arrest and subsequent penalties. If you make this mistake and find yourself driving into a DUI checkpoint, it’s important to understand what will happen.

Police set up DUI checkpoints as a way to stop a large number of vehicles in a short period of time. This gives them the opportunity to personally check every vehicle for drunk drivers, as well as those who may be violating other laws.

Here is what you should expect:

  • Police officers are watching as you get closer: Once you realize you’re driving into a checkpoint, keep in mind that officers are already watching your vehicle for suspicious activity, such as swerving or erratic braking.
  • The officer will come to your window: They’ll likely ask you for your license, registration and proof of insurance. Knowing where to find these documents is important, as you don’t want to spend too much time rooting around your vehicle.
  • The officer will ask some questions: Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Have you been drinking alcohol or using drugs? Be short and to the point when answering these questions, without saying anything to incriminate yourself. Here’s an example of something you don’t want to say: “I am driving home from the bar, but only had one drink.” This will immediately raise suspicions.
  • The officer will look for signs of impairment: This can include but is not limited to bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol, flushed face and slurred speech.
  • The officer may conduct a field sobriety test: If the officer believes you’re drunk, they’ll ask you to step outside your vehicle to take a field sobriety test. Depending on their findings, you may also be asked to take a Breathalyzer test.

If you’re arrested at a DUI checkpoint, stay calm and keep quiet. Once you’re processed and released, revisit the details of your arrest and take notes that will come in handy in the future.

Since a DUI conviction can impact your life in many ways, such as a large fine and license suspension, you’ll want to settle on a strategy to help lessen the impact.

Browse our past blog posts and website for more information on DUI laws, defense strategies and your legal rights.