Sobriety checkpoints, also known as “roadblocks” are sources of anxiety for many motorists in Colorado. Checkpoints allow the police to briefly detain and interview random drivers. The police try to identify and arrest intoxicated motorists.
Aside from not drinking and driving, there are several things that drivers can do to assert their rights. Keep calm, keep a level head, and do not panic. Losing your composure or making nervous gestures will only make you seem suspicious. Be polite, present your license and registration, and keep your hands on the wheel. If the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, do so without protest. Stay silent. Possibly the most important thing you can do is to exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The police will ask you leading questions such as where you were traveling from or whether you have been drinking. Do not answer these questions. Anything you say will be used against you.
Refuse sobriety tests. While the police may imply otherwise, you do not have to submit to any field sobriety tests. Roadside tests such as the walk and turn test, one leg stand test, or the horizontal gaze nystagmus test are conducted solely for the purposes of helping the officer gain probable cause to arrest you. You can refused the roadside tests without penalty.
Refuse searches unless the officer sees an open alcohol container in your vehicle or some other visible evidence of criminal activity. They may not search your vehicle without your consent or a warrant issued by a judge. While it may feel uncomfortable, you have the right to say no if the police ask to search your vehicle.
If you are arrested, call a lawyer. If the police arrest you for suspected driving under the influence (DUI), get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable DUI attorney will understand how to properly contest your charges and maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome. Trial tested experience at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC, our Denver DUI lawyers have more than twenty years of trial-tested experience and have successfully handled thousands of criminal cases.