Can I Turn Around at a DUI Checkpoint?
If you drive regularly and haven’t encountered a DUI checkpoint, count yourself among the lucky. Most drivers have encountered at least one of these checkpoints in their lives, and many aren’t sure what they are legally allowed to do. If you want to avoid contact with the officers running one of these checkpoints, you may be wondering if you can simply turn around before you hit the line. While you technically can turn around, is it a good idea to?
You Are Not Legally Obligated to Proceed. However…
If you can avoid the DUI checkpoint without breaking a traffic law, you are legally permitted to do so. For instance, if you would have to perform a U-turn where one isn’t permissible, you can’t turn around. If, on the other hand, all you have to do is turn a corner, you most certainly can avoid the checkpoint.
DUI checkpoints have been found in court to be counted under the 4th Amendment as reasonable search and seizure. That said, it only counts if the driver passes through the checkpoint and is selected for a stop. If you don’t get to the officers, they can’t stop you and they can’t search your vehicle or your person.
Again, you don’t have to drive through a checkpoint if you can avoid it legally. If, though, you will be breaking the law to avoid the checkpoint, you must pass through. Often, these checkpoints are set up in a location where legally avoiding them is all but impossible.
Drawing Attention to Yourself
Now that we have helped you determine when you can legally avoid a checkpoint, let’s briefly discuss the act of drawing attention to yourself. The mere act of avoiding a traffic stop shouldn’t cause an officer to jump into their vehicle and stop you, but it could draw attention to you that you may not want.
If you are observed maneuvering to avoid the roadblock, even if you do so legally, there’s a good chance you’ll be pulled over and arrested. This is especially true if the officer reasonably believed you are being evasive and doing so for purposes of avoiding the checkpoint. However, an experienced DUI attorney could get that case thrown out.
Your best chance of avoiding an arrest at a DUI checkpoint is to not drink and drive in the first place. That, of course, will depend on the decisions you make. If you have been drinking and run into a checkpoint, you could very well find yourself under arrest for driving under the influence. If this happens, you need a strong defense so you have a chance of avoiding stiff punishment.
If you do find yourself arrested for DUI in DeKalb County, you are facing serious consequences. You are not only facing steep fines, but you may be facing jail time as well. You need a powerful attorney on your side. Call our office today to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal options. We have been defending people like you in court for years and that experience is what allows us to assist others successfully. Call now for a case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm.