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What to Do at a DUI Checkpoint?


Don't panic, argue, or volunteer information. It's hard to do, I know.

But here's why how you behave, and what you say, is so important: If you're nice to the police, but you also don't volunteer any information, you're own restraint goes a long way in helping you get through a DUI checkpoint without incident.

Before going into detail on all that, understand that you don't have to go through a checkpoint at all. Think about turning off the main road. Or, find another route to your destination. Whatever you decide to do, just do so without doing a U-turn, or committing any other traffic violation. This is crucial: committing any traffic violation gives an officer cause to pull you over.

So, how can you know in advance where all these checkpoints are? Ohio law requires public notice of the location and dates of DUI checkpoints, and the cordons themselves are highly visible. You'll probably notice road signs, multiple cruisers flashing their lights, spotlights, and a line of vehicles waiting to go through the checkpoint well before you find yourself between any cones.

In short, never commit a traffic violation or risk causing an accident, but drive around a DUI checkpoint if you can do so safely.

Stop, Show Your License and Registration, and Stay Quiet

If you can't skip the routine, do these things: stay polite. Stop when and where instructed. Roll down your window. Hand over your license and insurance. Why? Because the officers will be watching and listening for signs of possible intoxication. That's the whole point of the checkpoint: to look for slurred speech, fumbling with paperwork, dilated pupils, bloodshot and glassy eyes, etc.

So, keep cool. Don't go into a long explanation of where you're headed to. Don't become talkative. Don't act nervous, or fidgety, because these actions could be interpreted as evidence of alcohol or stimulant use.

And don't bring up your belief that stopping people randomly on suspicion of the crime Ohio calls operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) is a violation of your rights. Courts have ruled repeatedly that checkpoints are legal. And getting argumentative about it won't help you.

Consider Refusing Field Sobriety Tests

Columbus DUI/OVI defense attorney April Campbell details the tests police use to detect possible drug and alcohol use here. You do not have to agree to perform any of them. Your constitutional right to protect yourself against self-incrimination ensures this.

Police can take you into custody for declining a request to submit to OVI testing. They can also suspend your personal and commercial driver' license (CDL).

But police CANNOT force you to walk heel-to-toe, stand on one leg, or let them track your eye movements. Unless the officer has a warrant to test your blood, breath, or urine, the same holds true for those tests as well.

Call an Ohio OVI Attorney

You have the right to legal representation from the second you enter a DUI checkpoint in Columbus, OH. Any encounter with police or the court system is subject to strict rules that an experienced defense lawyer like April Campbell knows well and will compel law enforcement personnel to follow. Calling (614) 356-8515 or sharing your story online will become particularly important if you do get arrested and charged with OVI.

Campbell offers free consultations to potential clients, and her previous work involving cases of CDL suspensions makes her adept at representing people who lose their driving privileges.

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Dublin, OH 43017

Phone: 614-356-7639
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