The DUI checkpoint- coming across one of these during a late night drive can be nerve-wracking, even if you have not had any alcohol that night. People rarely expect to run into one of these stops, and because they do not know their rights, they sometimes agree to tests or searches that they did not have to submit to. After the experience is over, many people wonder if the stop was even legal to begin with.
It is true that DUI checkpoints are legal in Tennessee, however, what’s important is what law enforcement is allowed to do at these checkpoints. We will go over your rights during a DUI checkpoint and what you can do to start building your defense after an arrest.
If you have already been arrested at a DUI checkpoint, contact our DUI attorneys in Clarksville today at (931) 361-4477. You need someone fighting for your rights.
Do I Have to Stop at a DUI Checkpoint?
If you spot a DUI checkpoint on the road, you are not required to stop at it. You are well within your rights to turn around and find another way to your destination if you wish. However, make sure you are making a legal turn, as making an abrupt, illegal turn before a checkpoint could raise suspicion and give the police probable cause to pull you over.
Do I Have to Take a Field Sobriety Test?
A field sobriety test is a test used to determine whether or not you are inebriated. The breathalyzer test is an example of a field sobriety test.
Tennessee is a volunteer state, meaning you are not required to submit yourself to a field sobriety test even if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint. In fact, the only thing you have to do is provide law enforcement with your name, driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. If you are asked any questions or requested to step out for a test, all you have to do is politely decline.
Can the Police Search My Vehicle?
Law enforcement does not have any right to search your vehicle unless there is probable cause to do so. You are well within to rights to tell them no if they ask to search your car. If they choose to search it anyway, then you and your lawyer can question whether they had probable cause in court.
What if I have Already Been Arrested?
Unfortunately, complying with all of a police officer’s requests during at DUI checkpoint can actually do you more harm than good. You never want to resist arrest or cause a scene, but you are allowed to say no to most things.
As seen above, there is not much a police officer can actually do to determine whether or not you are inebriated at a DUI checkpoint. These checkpoints were created more to catch people who are an obvious danger to everyone on the road— not someone who has had one or two drinks that night.
If you have already been arrested at a DUI checkpoint, your best course of action now is to contact a DUI defense attorney. At Patton | Pittman Attorneys, our DUI lawyers in Clarksville can review the details of your arrest and start building your defense.
Call (931) 361-4477 today to schedule a consultation at Patton | Pittman.