DUI checkpoints are designed to catch those driving under the influence, yet they sometimes also catch people who are not impaired at all. For instance, the stress of a police stop may sometimes result in a physical or mental response that may present as alcohol-fueled impairment when it is just fear or anxiety.
The Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford team offers a comprehensive mastery of DUI defense strategies in Pennsylvania. If you don’t successfully get through a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania or inadvertently implicate yourself in the middle of this kind of traffic stop, schedule a free consultation to determine how we can help.
In the meantime, consider three essential tips for getting through a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania:
Hire a Pennsylvania DUI Defense Attorney Before Offering Information
The most important tip for getting through a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania is to talk as little as possible. Answer when spoken to and provide whatever information you are required by law to provide: your name, driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. You are not required to provide any additional information and may politely decline to do so. Answering too many questions is one of the most common ways for people to incriminate themselves at a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania law also allows you to refuse a field sobriety test or preliminary breath test (PBT) at the checkpoint.
Avoid a Pennsylvania DUI Checkpoint If Possible
If you see a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania approaching, you are well within your rights to avoid it. If you can execute a legal U-turn or find a side street to turn on to avoid the checkpoint, do so.
According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a DUI checkpoint constitutes a roadblock and “there is no requirement that a driver go through a roadblock.” Therefore, per Pennsylvania law, it is entirely acceptable to avoid checkpoints as long as you do so within the parameters of the motor vehicle code of the state. However, if you execute an illegal U-turn to avoid the checkpoint, this may give a police officer a reason to pull you over.
Remain Calm and Peaceful If Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint
Remain as calm as possible during a DUI checkpoint stop. The more belligerent and argumentative you are, the more likely it is that the stop will escalate. Speak in clear sentences and try to keep pertinent information handy.
If you are asked to step out of the vehicle, do so confidently and steadily. Whatever you do, don’t lean against your vehicle, as this is likely to be interpreted as impaired behavior.
Hire an Experienced Pennsylvania DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
If you failed to get through a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania, hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you before doing anything else. You are more likely to realize an optimal outcome with a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer by your side than trying to navigate the legal system on your own.
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford offers a skilled group of attorneys with DUI expertise and a reputation for helping clients just like you. We have been working with clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 65 years and offer an array of criminal defense services. Call (215) 798-7081 or contact us here for a free consultation.