Los Angeles law enforcement officials are actively attempting to crack down on drunk driving by utilizing DUI patrols and DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoint arrests are different from DUI arrests that result from a traffic stop in a number of ways. For example, police at checkpoints cannot prove that a person’s driving ability was impaired because he or she did not witness erratic or dangerous driving before speaking with the driver. Additionally, not all checkpoints are valid, and there are a number of mistakes that officers can make during the arrest.
All Los Angeles checkpoints require a supervising officer in charge of the roadblock, a public notice as to where and where the checkpoint will be held, and a route to drive away from the checkpoint. When pulling up to the checkpoint, an officer may stop you to ask a few questions. If the officer suspects that you have been drinking, he or she may ask for your license and registration. Officers at checkpoints will also be looking for the smell of alcohol, evidence of alcohol, or slurred speech.
If you have been stopped at a checkpoint or have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is important that you remain calm, answer questions honestly, and cooperate with the officers. If you are worried that you will say the wrong thing, it is your right to refuse to speak without an attorney. It is important to remember, however, that refusing to cooperate will likely result in an arrest and a trip to the police station for an official DUI breath test.
If you have been arrested at a Los Angeles DUI checkpoint, remember to exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is with you. The experienced California drunk driving defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long history of successfully fighting DUI charges in Los Angeles. To discuss the specifics of your case, please call our offices at (866) 430-8383 right away.