How to behave at a sobriety checkpoint

In North Dakota, sobriety checkpoints have the backing of the public. In fact, according to the North Dakota Prevention Resource and Media Center, more than 70% of the state’s residents support DUI checkpoints. Officers also believe sobriety checkpoints to be an effective way to enforce the state’s DUI laws. 

As you know, the best way to avoid a drunk driving charge is never to drive after you have consumed alcohol. Still, after a night on the town, you may find yourself sitting beside the road as part of a sobriety checkpoint. Here are some tips for behaving properly at a DUI checkpoint. 

1. Slow down and stop 

When you are approaching a sobriety checkpoint, you must think about your safety and that of officers and other motorists. Therefore, reduce your vehicle’s speed. Then, stop completely when you arrive at the checkpoint unless an officer waives you through it. 

2. Provide documentation 

At a sobriety checkpoint, officers should stop every vehicle long enough to determine if drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They may also ask you for your license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. When the officer approaches your vehicle, have this documentation ready. 

3. Be careful with what you say 

Typically, you do not want to say too much at a sobriety checkpoint. Admitting to having even a single drink may cause officers to suspect your blood alcohol concentration is above the 0.08% legal limit. Therefore, be careful with what you say. Keeping communication to a minimum is often a good idea. 

4. Think twice before consenting to a search 

Officers generally must have a legal reason to search your vehicle. If you consent to a search, though, officers may look inside your car without cause. As you likely know, if officers find evidence of criminal activity in your vehicle, you may face serious consequences. Therefore, you may want to refuse to consent to the search. 

By never drinking and driving, you do not have to worry about the criminal and other consequences that accompany a DUI conviction. Still, if you find yourself in the middle of a sobriety checkpoint, behaving both responsibly and reasonably is important.

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