Police and other law enforcement use a number of strategies for catching drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated. One such tool is the DUI check. If you’ve never been subjected to one of these stops, it’s important that you understand how they work.
There are some definite dos and don’ts to know about when you encounter a DUI check. If you’re charged with a DUI offense, either at one of these stops or elsewhere, you’ll need committed legal defense.
How DUI Checks Work in Indiana
Traffic stops, to check for DUI and other illegal actions, are common in cities throughout the state. They are especially frequent around the holidays or on weekends when individuals may be drinking.
Sometimes, police will deliberately target cities or neighborhoods that have reported high rates of drunk driving accidents. Police may also patrol the surrounding areas to try to catch drivers engaged in suspicious behaviors.
DUI checks are set up by establishing temporary roadblocks on select roads and highways. These roadblocks divert vehicles into a police-supervised barrier. Law enforcement officers will stop and inspect drivers and their vehicles as they pass through the checkpoint. Although police are primarily looking for drunk driving, they may also detect other illegal activities.
What Happens if You Are Suspected of Driving Under the Influence?
If police believe a driver is operating while intoxicated, known as OWI, an officer will investigate further. This involves administering one or more tests to the driver suspected of being under the influence. For instance, the officer may request the driver to submit to a field sobriety test.
Another option is a Breathalyzer test. If a driver has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of .08%, he or she will receive a DUI charge. Failing a Breathalyzer test will lead to a driver’s license suspension, the amount of time depending on prior offenses. Refusing a test, however, will result in an automatic one-year license suspension.
That’s because when you obtain a driver’s license you give implicit consent to be subjected to a Breathalyzer. Losing your license will seriously and negatively impact your life, and it’s not easy to regain it. But an Indianapolis DUI lawyer can help you acquire limited driving privileges.
What if I Turn Around or Refuse to Stop at a Checkpoint?
Law enforcement will automatically assume that you are guilty if you try to evade a DUI check. This means if you are caught turning around just before a checkpoint, expect the police to pursue you. It’s the same situation if you fail to stop as required at a checkpoint.
Your best bet is to follow the directions given by the police at the checkpoint. But there are a few ways you can and should assert your rights:
- Politely decline to take a field sobriety test (but remember the consequences of declining a Breathalyzer).
- Do not give consent to a search of your vehicle, although police may not require one in certain cases.
- Do not answer questions by law enforcement officers or volunteer information to them.
- If you are arrested, ask to speak with an Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer and otherwise remain silent.
Let Us Help Protect Your Rights in an Indianapolis DUI Case
Do you have questions about DUI charges and proceedings in Indiana? Are you facing charges of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Let Rathburn Law Office represent you. We are well-versed in all aspects of DUI and related cases. Call us today to set up your initial consultation.