It’s only natural to feel apprehensive when stopped at a DWI checkpoint in Texas or anywhere else. Even if you have only consumed a single drink hours earlier or have not been drinking at all, a checkpoint stop can be anxiety-inducing. After all, you are being stopped by the police and potentially face further interrogation if they believe you are driving while intoxicated. It’s important to know what to do at a DWI checkpoint.
Show Your Information
The first thing you should do when stopped at a DWI checkpoint is to comply with police when they request your license and registration. Show them your information and avoid resisting. If you become agitated and give them a hard time for any reason, the police will find a reason to detain you for even longer. If your information is stored in your glove compartment, let the police know and always ensure that your hands are where they are able to see them.
It’s important to avoid arguing with the police. Many individuals stopped at DWI checkpoints believe that if they tell the police there’s no probable cause to pull them over, they can get out of it.
In reality, however, the police don’t need probable cause to question you when there is a DWI checkpoint in place. In addition, the Supreme Court has ruled that the dangers of drunk driving are far more important than a person believing their privacy is invaded at a checkpoint.
In other words, the police have a right to stop you and anyone else at a DWI checkpoint and question you if they believe you are driving while intoxicated.
Although the police may pull you over at a DWI checkpoint for seemingly no reason at all, you are not under any legal obligation to speak with them. Aside from giving the police the most basic information, you don’t have to offer them anything more. By law, you don’t even have to answer any additional questions the officers may have, such as whether you have been drinking. Stay as quiet as possible to avoid a potential confrontation.
Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
If the police believe that you have been drinking while driving, they may ask you to step out of your car and submit to a test to make a determination. Although they can stop you at the DWI checkpoint, you have a right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. You are under no obligation to submit and can say no without repercussions. Overall, if you do submit to a field sobriety test because you know you’re sober, it can work against you. This is because many of the tests are faulty.
Don’t Let Them Conduct a Search
In some cases, the police may even ask if they can conduct a search of your car. You should decline and have the legal right to do so. You cannot be penalized for refusing to allow the police to search your vehicle. They can only legally do this if they have a warrant or get your explicit permission to do a search.
It’s important to know that DWI checkpoints are only legal in certain states. They are typically organized by law enforcement during certain times when people are more likely to be under the influence while behind the wheel, such as during the weekend or on certain holidays. If you have been pulled over by police at a checkpoint and have been arrested, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact a Fort Worth DWI lawyer immediately to discuss your case.