Police officers in California can set up checkpoints to find drivers who are driving under the influence (DUI). Many drivers would prefer to avoid the hassle of a checkpoint, regardless of whether or not they were drinking. So, are you required to stop at a DUI checkpoint in California?
You can use this article to review California’s legal regulations on DUI checkpoint usage. Find out when and if you need to stop at a checkpoint and review the steps for handling a DUI check with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also call us at (310) 997-4688 if you are charged with a DUI after a checkpoint stop.
Drivers Can Legally Avoid DUI Checkpoints in California
You do not legally have to drive up to a DUI checkpoint if you see it in time to take a detour around it in California. However, you cannot break any laws to avoid a DUI checkpoint. This means that you cannot avoid a checkpoint by, for example:
- Making an illegal U-turn
- Backing up dangerously into other drivers
- Driving up over a sidewalk
Additionally, speeding or driving aggressively to get away from a DUI checkpoint could be taken as evidence that you are driving while impaired. This could provide law enforcement officers with the justification to pursue you and pull you over.
You Must Stop at DUI Checkpoints That Can’t be Avoided
In many situations, there is no legal way to avoid a DUI checkpoint in California. If you cannot legally turn your vehicle around, you must proceed and complete the checkpoint. Note that not all drivers are stopped at DUI checkpoints. If you are stopped, you must follow the directions issued by law enforcement officers.
Police officers will often ask you questions at DUI checkpoints. You should not lie about your answers. However, you do not have to answer questions that will incriminate you. You are allowed to politely refuse to answer, though you could be arrested based on a suspicion of a DUI.
Note that police officers at a DUI checkpoint will be looked for signs of impairment, including:
- Slurred speech
- Evidence of empty or full bottles in your vehicle
- The smell of alcohol
Police officers can also hand down other charges at a DUI checkpoint. For example, if you go through a checkpoint with a broken headlight, you will be informed of it by a police officer. If you face any criminal charges you should reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right away. Just call (310) 997-4688 to get help.
Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint in California
As we mentioned, you are legally required to follow the directions of a law enforcement officer at a DUI checkpoint. You should remain polite and agreeable during the DUI checkpoint stop. However, you do have rights, especially when it comes to DUI testing.
Police officers can request that you complete blood alcohol content (BAC) testing or field sobriety tests (FSTs). You are legally allowed to refuse these tests in some situations. However, you MUST complete these tests if:
- You are legally arrested
- You are on DUI probation
- You are under 21
Refusal to comply with a legally requested test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Seek Help After a DUI Arrest at a Checkpoint
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help you if you are charged with a DUI after a checkpoint stop. You can improve your odds of successfully handling a DUI charge if you get assistance as soon as possible after your arrest.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can advise you as you are questioned by police officers and prosecutors. We can work to block evidence against you to weaken the prosecution’s case. Our team understands what it takes to handle DUI charges in California.
In some cases, we may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed. We’re also prepared to defend you in court here in California, as we work to help you put DUI charges firmly in your past.
A DUI Lawyer Can Help if You’re Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint
You may avoid a DUI checking in California if you can legally drive in a different direction. In all other situations, you are required to stop at a DUI checkpoint and to comply with the requests of law enforcement officers. You can get help if you are arrested at a checkpoint by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Just call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form.
Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can start working on your defense now with a FREE case evaluation.