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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer Blog


DUI Checkpoint

How to Handle a DUI Checkpoint


There have been recent news articles about attorneys giving clients or future clients advice about what to do when stopped by the police for DUI during a roadblock or otherwise.  I believe this advice to be dangerously wrong.

These attorneys are telling people to refuse to roll down your windows when stopped by the police. There is no more certain way to be arrested then to exhibit this behavior!  In my experience, I have had officers tell me that they had no intention of arresting the person for DUI, but due to their absolute refusal to even get out of the car, they were left no choice but to go forward with at least an obstruction charge.  I believe these attorneys are getting this superfluous advice merely to obtain the press that comes with controversial and potentially wrong statements.

The first and best advice is to not drink and driveDUI  is the only crime you can be arrested for based upon the opinion of a police officer.

Secondly, if you are stopped for DUI your refusal to perform the roadside exercises will be introduced at trial and used as evidence towards your guilt.  Perform the exercises as best as you can. These are not scientific tests nor they allowed to be held out as such. They’re not valid, reliable or accurate. They are simply exercises the officer asked you to do.

Third, and many lawyers will not agree with this, but it is this attorney’s opinion that you should provide a breath sample. After providing a breath sample, you should then request an independent blood test.  More often than not, the police will not provide this for you and you will be able to suppress the breath test results  — and the state will not be allowed to say that you refuse to give a breath test. Either way, you have a more accurate test of your blood alcohol level.

In conclusion, there is nothing more powerful on the side of the road than a police officer.  Sometimes, a little cooperation can go a very long way towards you going home. I can promise you this: your refusal to roll down your window and get out of your car will almost always result in your arrest.

Indeed, laws regulating DUI offenses are arguably more complex than most other criminal offenses.   Therefore, if you’ve been arrested for DUI, you’ll want to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling such cases.