From time to time Virginia police will set up sobriety checkpoints at random locations. Normally, these locations are not publicized in advance. DUI checkpoints are legal in Virginia provided that police officers followed certain procedures during the process. Before a Virginia sobriety checkpoint can be established, Virginia law requires that the DUI checkpoint be announced to the general public. As motorists drive through a DUI checkpoint, police officers are not allowed to stop every vehicle. Instead, vehicles passing through will be stopped according to a mathematical formula (such as stopping every 5th car that comes through).
Vehicles may not be stopped based on the appearance of the motorist or on how they drive through the DUI checkpoint. According to Falls Church, Virginia DUI defense attorney, Michael Strong, DUI checkpoints are held to a higher standard of police officer procedure. Failure of the police officers to follow this procedure can result in your DUI being thrown out or dismissed. If you have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint and subsequently charged with a DUI, you should contact the Strong Law Firm today and speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney.
While driving through a DUI checkpoint keep the following tips in mind:
- Avoid obvious signs of intoxication while driving through the DUI checkpoint. While driving through a DUI checkpoint remain calm. Do not make sudden movements or appear to be hiding something in your car. The less suspicious you act the more likely you are going to go through the DUI checkpoint without the police officer’s suspicion.
- Do not attempt to avoid the DUI checkpoint. Many drivers will try and avoid a DUI checkpoint by turning off a side road. Police officers usually stakeout around those areas and will pull you over if you are avoiding the DUI checkpoint. Your best bet is to proceed through the DUI checkpoint and hope that you are not randomly selected by the mathematical formula.
- Cooperate with police officers to the extent necessary in producing your driver’s license, registration card, and auto insurance proof. Remember, you do not want to make the police officer suspicion that you are intoxicated. If you genuinely have not been drinking relax and do what is necessary for the sake of the officer satisfaction.
- Do not volunteer any additional information to the police officer. Make sure that while you are talking with the police officer you do not volunteer any information that the officer is not soliciting. If you had a one beer with dinner do not say where you’ve been or where you’re going. You do not want information like this to be used against you later or misconstrued before a judge.
- You do not have to give consent for the police officers to search your vehicle. When a police officer asks if they may have your permission to search your vehicle, remember this is not required. If you give your consent to a vehicle search the police officer may be able to search a car anywhere. Just don’t do it.
Hire The Strong Law Firm to Defend your DUI case. Give us a call or use our contact page immediately. An experienced DUI defense attorney will be happy to evaluate your case and give you advice on how best to proceed.