DUI Roadblocks & DUI Checkpoints
Basics of a Checkpoint
Arizona sets up sobriety checkpoints on a regular basis, with a great increase in the number of checkpoints during holiday weekends. Checkpoints, or roadblocks, are DUI enforcement operations where law enforcement agencies set up temporary stop signs and make contact with every motorist driving by. Drivers who have an odor of alcohol or marijuana, or who tell the contact officer that they have had anything to drink, or have used a medication or drug, are required to exit their vehicles and submit to police balance tests and an eye test. Motorists who choose not to stop and speak with law enforcement officers are followed by “chase vehicles” and stopped for any minor traffic infraction.
If you are pulled over at an Arizona DUI checkpoint, click here to learn the Do's & Don'ts when you are a DUI suspect.
Studies have shown that checkpoints are far less effective in finding impaired motorists than typical DUI deployments - using trained police officers to stop vehicles when they see suspected traffic violations. Of course, the requirement that officers have “particularized suspicion” that a crime has been committed before they stop a motorist also prevents innocent motorists from being stopped and questioned, simply because they were driving through the area chosen for the checkpoint. The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the legality of law enforcement checkpoints when specific procedures are used and followed by the police.
Tucson DUI Attorneys Successfully Challenging Unlawful Stops, Searches & Seizures
Nesci & St. Louis is dedicated to defending those accused of DUI and other crimes in Arizona. Our Tucson DUI lawyers bring over 40 years of combined experience and an impressive list of credentials to your case. We believe that these roadblocks are unjust, unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures and advocate for you if you are arrested as a result of a sobriety checkpoint.
What to Do if You’re Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint
Even if you do not feel intoxicated, you can still be arrested for driving while impaired at a DUI checkpoint. Your cool, collected demeanor can mean you go home instead of to jail. Nesci & St. Louis provides these helpful recommendations if you encounter a sobriety checkpoint:
- Approach the checkpoint slowly and obey any directions the officers give, such as where to park your vehicle.
- Tell any passengers in your vehicle that you are approaching a DUI checkpoint and ask them to be serious and quiet.
- Do not roll down your window until an officer tells you to do so.
- You have the right to politely decline to answer any questions, including whether you have had anything to drink, or have used any drugs or medications.
- You have the right to politely request to speak with a lawyer prior to performing any tests, including field sobriety tests or taking a preliminary breath test if asked.
- Always remain calm and respectful.
Important Issues Before a DUI Roadblock
What you do before you encounter a sobriety checkpoint can make the difference in the outcome. Our attorneys offer these important tips:
- Do not carry illicit drugs or paraphernalia and do not allow your friends to have drugs in their possession while in your vehicle.
- Carry only medications you need — lock prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in your glove box or trunk unless you need immediate access for a medical condition.
- Do not drive with an open container of alcohol and do not allow your passengers to have open bottles, cans or cups of alcohol in your car.
- Keep your driver's license, registration and auto insurance card easily and quickly accessible.
Consult with our DUI defense team about your rights if you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint. To learn more about how to handle a DUI roadblock, call Nesci & St. Louis today at (520) 999-2441 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
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