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Avoid Getting a Halloween Trick at DUI Checkpoints

Halloween is here and that means trick-or-treating and lots of parties. While you are out celebrating, Phoenix area police departments will be setting up DUI checkpoints to help ensure that everyone is getting home safely at the end of the night. Thousands of people are arrested every year in Arizona at DUI checkpoints, so make sure you know what to expect before you get behind the wheel.

The legality of DUI checkpoints has previously been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, even though in other circumstances law enforcement needs a reasonable suspicion that you are breaking or about to break the law to stop you.  Officers at DUI checkpoints must stop every car but the stop must be brief and unduly intrusive.  These quick investigations are allowed due to a high need to promote public safety and to prevent drunk driving accidents, injuries, property damage, and fatalities.

The locations of DUI checkpoints are often announced in advance by Phoenix area police departments and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  This advanced warning is given to hopefully deter drunk driving and alert the community for possible delays in the area.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with avoiding streets where DUI checkpoints are set up.  Additionally, many drivers use Twitter and Facebook to warn others where they find a DUI checkpoint.

If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, here are some tips to assert your rights:

  • You must provide your license to law enforcement officer upon request.
  • You are not required to answer any of the officer’s questions. Politely inform him or her that you wish to observe your Constitutional rights and not answer any questions.
  • If the officer asks to search your vehicle, calmly tell him or her that you do not consent to the search.
  • If the officer asks to you take a field sobriety test, politely decline. If the officer wants to test the alcohol content of your breath, blood, or urine, you must comply with him or her, or else you will lose your license for up to 12 months, even if you are sober.
  • If you are arrested, do not answer any questions until after you have spoken with an attorney.
  • If you wish to warn others about where the DUI checkpoint is, do not text or tweet about it while you’re driving. It is dangerous and you could get a ticket for it.

Of course, the best way to avoid trouble at a DUI checkpoint is to drive completely sober.  Before you celebrate this Halloween, plan ahead and make sure you have a safe and sober way to get home.  Ride with a friend, call a family member, or take a cab, but do not take the risk of driving under the influence.

If you have been arrested for DUI, it’s imperative that you contact an experienced Arizona DUI attorney as soon as possible to serve as your advocate.   At Oracle Law Group Office, P.C., we have the experienced DUI attorneys who will guide you through the court process.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can assist you with your DUI case.  At Oracle Law Group Office, we listen, we care, and we want to help.