Drunk driving checkpoints are locations, often at intersections or other busy areas, where law enforcement monitors drivers to determine if they have been drinking. While there is much debate about the legality of checkpoints, in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, they are legal, and they happen frequently.
Checkpoints to monitor for intoxicated driving may be legal, but that does not mean that the actions of law enforcement are always legal. It is possible that you experienced a violation of your rights in the process of your arrest at a sobriety checkpoint, and as soon as possible, it is important to secure legal help in order to fight these charges.
What are your rights if arrested at a DUI checkpoint?
In order for a checkpoint to be legal, law enforcement must do the following:
- Provide advanced notice that the checkpoint will take place
- Have lawful approval to run the checkpoint
- Administer the traffic stop according to the law
If you found yourself under arrest after a stop at a checkpoint, it is critical to act quickly in order to protect your rights. Criminal charges of any kind can bring serious penalties, and drunk driving charges come with the possibility of expensive fines, time behind bars and loss of driving privileges. What you are up against is serious, but you still have certain rights, including:
- The right to an attorney
- The right to challenge the prosecution's case against you
- The right to question the results of the Breathalyzer
- The right to challenge the administration of any field sobriety tests
- The right to call into question the legality of the drunk driving checkpoint
Any infringement upon your constitutional rights could result in a reduction or complete dismissal of the charges against you. A conviction is never your only option, and it is worthwhile to learn about all of the legal options that may be available.
Fight to protect your rights and interests
It is critical to take steps to protect your rights and interests, even if you are a first-time DUI offender. Some people believe that it is easiest to plead guilty and move on with life, but that is simply not the case. Your future and freedom are on the line, and even if you are unaware of any violation of your rights, it is important to know how to fight back against the charges that followed your arrest at a sobriety checkpoint.