Three Ways To Make Sure You Don't Get Wrongly Detained At A DUI Checkpoint

Posted on: 6 October 2016


The first step in preventing a DUI checkpoint arrest, of course, is to avoid drinking and driving. But in a world where DUI arrests are sometimes made wrongfully, that may not be quite enough. You'll have to understand the DUI checkpoint process in order to effectively protect yourself from this catastrophe. Since some of the things police officers look for during a checkpoint can have reasonable explanations other than drunk driving, you could (if you're very unlucky) get nabbed for driving under the influence when you're simply very nervous and emotional for other reasons. Here are three ways to protect yourself from this eventuality.

1. Focus on your driving

Unconventional or illegal driving behaviors are one of the first things the police will be looking for. They plan their stops based on which cars are moving in such a way that they look like they're being controlled by a drunk driver. Some unconventional behaviors they look for include not staying in the driving lane, slowing or stopping in the driving lane for no good reason, incompetent or illegal turns, and so on. Of course, if you're simply a very new driver and they stop you for a wide turn and slow night driving, you may be able to explain that you've only had your license for a few months and you're still a little nervous about driving. However, the best thing to do is avoid getting stopped in the first place. So avoid drowsy driving (which can be as much of an impairment as alcohol) and try to focus on the road at all times. You know, basic safe driving tips.  

2. Be respectful to the officers

No, there's no requirement that you can't have a nasty attitude toward a police officer. But, just like a customer service representative, a police officer is a person too, even if you'd rather not remember it. And not only is a police officer a person, but he or she is a person who is armed with a deadly weapon. So why wouldn't you have the common decency (or survival instinct) necessary to treat the police officer with courtesy? One reason could be that you've recently consumed alcohol. So a nasty attitude, logically speaking, is more likely to give the officers a reasonable suspicion that you're under the influence.  

3. Don't be nervous

Unfortunately, extreme nervousness and alcohol both have the ability to cause you to fumble with your wallet while trying to retrieve your license, stammer a bit while speaking, and have unusual reactions to questions. So if you're prone to nervousness, forget what we just said about the deadly weapon and just remember that the police officers are just doing their job and that they're there to protect you. Hand over your license and registration with confidence and don't be shy about meeting the officer's gaze.  

These three tips will help you seem a less likely suspect when you're driving down the road perfectly innocently. And remember, you can put these tips to use at any traffic stop, not just a DUI stop. Consult with a DUI lawyer as well if you want legal advice on how to behave at a traffic stop such as a DUI checkpoint.