What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint?
DUI checkpoints — also known as sobriety checkpoints, roadblocks or mobile checkpoints — are Delaware traffic stops conducted by police and designed to target drunk drivers. They are not linked to suspicions a police officer has about a specific driver. Rather, these are set up to stop all drivers randomly in order to evaluate their level of sobriety.
What Can I Expect?
You will notice these checkpoints as you are driving — especially if you are driving in the evening on holiday weekends. Police officers will park in a visible spot and will stop all cars proceeding along a stretch of road. You will be asked to slow down your vehicle and eventually stop. When you stop, you will be detained briefly and asked questions by a police officer. As you answer, the police officer will look into your vehicle and evaluate your state. If a police officer suspects a driver of being drunk, that driver will be subjected to additional sobriety tests.
The goal of DUI checkpoints in Delaware is to stop intoxicated drivers and get them off the road. In most cases, police need to have probable cause in order to stop a driver. This regulation is in place to prevent intrusion. However, the United States Supreme Court has determined that the risks of drunk driving necessitate the exception of sobriety checkpoints. As a result, police in Delaware and other states are allowed to administer mobile checkpoints and roadblocks as long as they follow the applicable guidelines.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Stopped at a Checkpoint?
If you have been stopped at a DUI checkpoint, your best option is to cooperate with the police. If you have not been drinking, simply allow the police officer to ask you questions and answer them truthfully. You may be asked about where you are going and whether you have been drinking. You will likely be waved through the checkpoint. In some cases, if a checkpoint is busy, random cars may be waved through without even being asked questions.
If you are falsely accused of driving under the influence, it is important to contact a DUI lawyer in Delaware if you have been detained at a checkpoint. You may also have been given a sobriety test which established your blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, which requires a different kind of assistance