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Don’t make one of these DUI checkpoint mistakes

If you spend enough time on the road, especially during the evening hours, you're likely to run into a DUI checkpoint.

This is nothing to worry about if you're 100 percent sober, but if you've been drinking you're sure to have some concerns.

There is no guarantee that you will be arrested at a DUI checkpoint. To prevent trouble, it's important to avoid a variety of mistakes. These include the following:

  • No open containers in your vehicle: This should go without saying, but if you have an open alcohol container in view of the officer, you're going to run into trouble. Not only is this against the law, but it gives the officer reason to believe that you may be under the influence of alcohol.
  • Erratic driving: If you're driving fast, moving from lane to lane or abruptly starting and stopping, you're sure to draw attention to yourself. You need to stay in your lane and proceed slowly.
  • Talking back to the officer: It doesn't matter how frustrated you are with the checkpoint, you can't afford to talk back to the officer. Instead, do whatever it takes to get along and move on with your evening.
  • Making an illegal U-turn: It's easy to assume that the best way to avoid a DUI checkpoint is by making a U-turn and heading in the other direction. It's something to consider, but you need to be careful that you follow the rules of the road when doing so. Officers are watching for illegal maneuvers.
  • Talking about your legal rights: You absolutely have legal rights, but you don't need to tell the officer about them. For example, you shouldn't explain that a DUI checkpoint is illegal, as this is not the case. Let the officer do his or her job, all the while trying your best to comply with the requests and move through the checkpoint as quickly as possible.

Even if you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it doesn't mean a conviction is imminent. You still have plenty of time to look back at the arrest, learn more about your legal rights and devise a defense strategy. When you do these things, you're in better position to avoid a serious punishment.

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