December 19, 2013
When you and your friends go out to celebrate the end of this year, chances are the festivities will involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages. New Year's Eve is a popular drinking holiday and it's hard not to have at least one glass of champagne in revelry with others, whether you're at a bar or a house party. Hopefully, you will have a designated driver who agrees to stay sober throughout the night or a place to stay.
However, if you decide to use your own discretion and drive when enough time has passed, which is not recommended, then you should at least know how to properly conduct yourself at a sobriety checkpoint. On New Years, it is highly likely that you will encounter one, whether you're in a major metropolitan area or a small town.
- You have the right to avoid a sobriety checkpoint. Most people are surprised by this fact. When approaching a sobriety checkpoint, you should come by adequate signage that warns of what's ahead. As long as you do not drive suspiciously or violate any vehicle codes, you may maneuver the vehicle as to avoid the checkpoint. Law enforcement officials cannot stop you just for doing that. However, they may pursue you if your actions show signs of intoxication.
- Be courteous and polite. Do not ever argue or show attitude to any of the officers conducting the checkpoint. If the officer feels you display good behavior, you have a better chance of passing through without incident. And even if you are arrested, your good behavior will at least give you a better chance in court since the prosecution will have less material to use against you.
- Keep your answers precise and to the point. Do not talk more than you have to. If you are asked a simple “yes” or “no” question, answer with “yes” or “no” and do not talk beyond that. Do not address or explain anything unless it is asked of you by the officer.
- Refuse field sobriety tests. You have the right to not incriminate yourself, meaning you may politely refuse to take any field sobriety tests.
Being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) is a rough way to start the year. A reliable Ventura DUI defense attorney can help you preserve your rights inside and outside of court and employ effective legal strategies to ensure that your whole year is not ruined by this one incident.