If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Virginia, your behavior and many other factors can influence the progression of events and ultimately affect the integrity of your defense in court. It is important all motorists know and understand what to expect during and after a sobriety checkpoint arrest for DUI in Richmond, VA.
Facts About Checkpoints, Roadblocks, and DUI Law
A sobriety checkpoint is a traffic stop roadblock designed to help law enforcement identify drivers operating vehicles under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Authorities ordinarily stage sobriety checkpoints to coincide with holidays and entertainment events, when people tend to consume alcohol as they celebrate.
Every detail of a sobriety checkpoint, from placement to operation, is strictly regulated. The overall plan for every checkpoint and roadblock has to be approved in writing and followed without deviation. This presents opportunities for procedural mistakes which, if proven in court, could have the sobriety checkpoint declared unconstitutional. This makes your arrest illegal and provides grounds for your case to be dismissed.
Understand Rights and Protocols at a Richmond DUI Sobriety Checkpoint
If you are arrested at a sobriety checkpoint or roadblock for DUI in the Richmond, VA area, know what to expect and how to behave to minimize self-incrimination and protect your rights:
• Any statements you make can be used against you in a court of law if you are charged with DUI. You are not required to speak, so limit your words.
• Vehicles are randomly stopped by law enforcement. Stay calm. You are not automatically suspected of DUI.
• Carefully follow all police instructions.
• The police officer may ask to see your driver’s license and proof of insurance.
• Only if the officer has probable cause will they have you perform field sobriety tests and take a preliminary breath test.
• If you fail these tests a more accurate blood-alcohol test is administered at the enforcement facility where you will formally be arrested and processed on a DUI criminal charge.
The complicated DUI laws in Virginia are some of the most severe in the nation, and so are the penalties: hefty fines, driving privileges suspended or revoked, jail sentences, the ignition interlock device, and VASAP mandatory driver education.
You may feel hopeless, but there are many ways an aggressive, experienced DUI attorney can provide you with a well-constructed criminal defense. Contact a criminal defense DUI lawyer right away to obtain your best legal outcome after a security checkpoint arrest for DUI in Richmond.