Cities like Raleigh, North Carolina set up sobriety checkpoints along the highways and at major traffic centers to catch individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. Police officers rotate the locations weekly in an attempt to discourage drinking and driving and will stop drivers in a pattern. If stopped, you are required to take a sobriety test and refusal can lead to a suspension of your license. Rather than risk more trouble, follow these five tips to get through the checkpoint quickly and be on your way.
- Do Not Drink.
Of course, driving when intoxicated is always a bad idea. However, you may have had one or two drinks and be safely below the legal limit. If you do not have a drink, when an officer asks whether you have been drinking, you can confidently say no. Lying is a bad choice, because he or she may smell alcohol on your breath or clothing. Although you might pass a sobriety test, you will be subject to further scrutiny before leaving the checkpoint.
- Avoid Driving Near Bars.
When driving home at night after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is stop at a sobriety checkpoint. The main roads near restaurants and bars are a common location for stopping drivers. When possible, avoid driving in these areas. In large cities like Raleigh, it can be difficult to predict where a checkpoint might be set up. However, they are not allowed on highways and this route may help avoid them.
- Keep Your Vehicle Maintained.
Avoid giving a police officer any other reason for stopping you. Make sure your license plates, registration, and inspection are up to date. Check headlights and taillights frequently to ensure no bulbs are out. In general, a clean vehicle that is properly maintained is less suspicious than a worn and dirty one.
- Answer questions simply.
There is no need to go into any long explanation when stopped by a police officer. Answer questions with yes or no, and use short sentences when appropriate. At a checkpoint, the goal is to get traffic moving through as quickly as possible. When you cooperate, you are more likely to move along.
- Do Not Act Nervous.
Flashing police lights and having your car pulled over is naturally an anxiety-inducing experience for most people. Although officers expect drivers to be nervous, acting overly scared can tip the officers that something is not right. If you have nothing to hide, behave as such. Avoid unnecessary fidgeting and keep documents easily accessible to avoid fumbling for registration information.
Raleigh DWI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DWI after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in NC, you may lose your license, pay a fine, or spend time in jail. This is a serious offense that can affect your ability to drive, work, and provide for your family. The circumstances of your stop play a significant role in the prosecution of your case. With the right DWI attorney, you may receive the minimum penalty or have the charges dropped altogether.
Contact a DWI attorney at DeMent Askew for an evaluation of your case. You have rights and it is important that they are upheld. Call at 919-833-5555 or use the contact form.