DUI checkpoints are legal in the state of Colorado, so you may find yourself driving directly into one of these at some point. Even if you’re sober and assume that everything will go as planned, you never know what could happen. And that alone is enough to cause your stress level to rise.
Knowing what to expect at a DUI checkpoint makes it easier to manage the situation without putting yourself at greater risk of trouble.
The first thing to realize is that you’re typically given plenty of notice that a DUI checkpoint is ahead. This typically consists of:
At this point, you’ll realize that you’re driving into the DUI checkpoint. Upon arriving at the stop itself, here’s what you should expect:
A police officer will ask you to put down your window
The officer will ask for your license and registration (make sure you know where this is located in your vehicle)
The officer may ask questions such as “have you been drinking?” or “where are you coming from tonight?”
During this time, the officer is probing to determine if you could be under the influence of alcohol. Other things they’ll do include:
Look inside your vehicle to see if there are any open alcohol containers
Look for physical signs of intoxication, such as glossy eyes and/or slurred speech
Attempt to smell for alcohol on your breath or coming from your vehicle
If the officer suspects that you’re under the influence of alcohol, they’ll ask you to get out of your vehicle. This typically leads to field sobriety tests to better understand your condition. Depending on your performance, the officer may also ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test.
Should everything check out, the officer will let you return to your vehicle and leave the scene. However, if you’re found to be under the influence of alcohol, the officer will arrest you.
Don’t resist arrest at a DUI checkpoint. Follow direction and pay close attention to whether anyone is violating your legal rights.
Once you’re processed and booked, all your attention should turn toward the future, which includes formulating a DUI defense strategy.