Drinking and driving is a serious problem throughout California. To help eliminate some cases, police and other law enforcement officers set up DUI checkpoints.
If you encounter a checkpoint, it's good to know what you should do and what rights you have.
Don't illegally avoid the checkpoint
When there's a DUI checkpoint on a road you are traveling on, you may be tempted to avoid it. While you can take legal measures to do so, such as turning down a side street or performing a legal U-turn, don't do anything illegal or suspicious. This will only give the police reason to suspect you have something to hide.
Get your documentation ready
The police have every right to see your driver's license and insurance information. It is a good idea to get these items ready while waiting to talk to an officer at the checkpoint. Having these items ready will help the process move along faster.
Don't volunteer any information
The police at the checkpoint will likely ask you questions to find out if you have been drinking or doing anything else illegal before being stopped at the checkpoint. You have the right not to answer. You should also avoid offering any information. While it may be tempting to engage in conversation, avoid this, especially if you have been drinking, as anything you say can be used against you.
Protecting your rights at a DUI checkpoint
DUI checkpoints pop up around the state at different times and on different days. The goal is to reduce cases of drunk driving and drunk driving-related accidents. If you are stopped at a checkpoint, knowing what to do and what to avoid will help you protect your rights.