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What to expect at a DUI checkpoint

Ohio authorities often conduct roadblocks at strategic locations in areas where there could be a high number of impaired drivers. While the element of surprise is important for the officers, the contemporary policy for police departments is to schedule the checkpoints at specific locations and publish them with local media and on their official website. But, make no mistake, the officers have an agenda, and it is not merely ensuring that drivers are registered, insured, and have appropriate driver’s licenses. Here is what to expect when being stopped and how to be prepared.

Document check

The first thing an officer will request is pertinent documentation associated with the vehicle. Registration and insurance documents will be the first request. The next request will be to display your driver’s license for active inspection. And, they will almost always want to speak face-to-face with the driver and view the inside of the vehicle. Do not be surprised if they even run an outstanding warrant check as well. If they request you to step out of the vehicle, they could have a reasonable suspicion of impairment. This usually indicates they think the driver is violating the DUI law on some level. Most drivers who are not a suspect will be requested to remain in the vehicle for officer protection.

How to respond

It is always important to remain calm when talking to a police officer, and this especially applies at a checkpoint. Officers want to enhance arrest numbers. Some officers are overzealous, and sometimes they are even borderline combative when the questioned driver does not comply totally in a state of fear. The truth about DUI checkpoints is that the officers are actually primarily focused on apprehending impaired drivers. If choosing to speak, only answer what is asked. DUI law attorneys understand this priority and procedure, but they also understand that BAC readings up to.049 are actually not violations of the DUI law or evidence of reckless driving.

It is always best to be cordial with officers at a checkpoint, and those who are sober are legally allowed to leave immediately after showing documentation. Any further questioning could be deemed to be an unlawful detainment without the requisite reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.