No one wants to be stopped for no reason, which is one reason why DUI checkpoints make some drivers feel frustrated. A DUI checkpoint slows down traffic and makes people wait while officers decide if they want to give them breath tests.
If you’re new to driving, or if you haven’t been in the South Carolina long, then you may not be familiar with a DUI checkpoint. This is a place where the police create a barricade and stop drivers to check for any signs of intoxication. These checkpoints do usually catch some people who are intoxicated, but they also result in false arrests and unfair treatment in some cases.
What should you do if you are approaching a DUI checkpoint?
If you are approaching a DUI checkpoint, the thing you shouldn’t do is turn around. It looks suspicious if you decide to turn around, for one thing. While it may be legal to make a U-turn in that particular spot, you could catch the attention of the police by “randomly” making one just before a checkpoint.
When you drive through the DUI checkpoint, the officer will potentially ask for your license, registration, insurance and other identifying information. You can show this information to the officer by slightly rolling down your window and passing it through if they want to take it from you temporarily. If they just want to see it, then you should be able to hold it up to the window.
Remember not to volunteer any information to the police. You only need to answer a few questions, such as if you’ve had anything to drink or where you’re going. If you do plan to answer, keep your answers simple. You can say you haven’t been drinking and are heading home. You can say you visited a friend’s house. You don’t have to explain that you were at a friend’s party or that you had several drinks. Be honest, but don’t volunteer information that you weren’t asked for.
Finally, be patient. You should do your best to be respectful and patient, so that you aren’t accused of being impaired or aggressive.
DUI checkpoints can be frustrating, but in the end, they are there to protect people. Know your rights, so you can protect yourself when you go through them.