What Are Your Rights At A DUI Checkpoint Stop

There have been numerous questions about a person’s rights at a DUI checkpoint.  GInLaw.Com, the Best DUI Lawyer In Las Vegas will tackle this issue in the following post.

You see them in virtually every city, especially in Las Vegas.  Heck, the talking heads on the local news even let you know where and when it is happening.  The dreaded DUI checkpoint.  These checkpoints are put in place by the city or county to stop drunk driving and to remind people that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a smart thing to do.  It is downright dangerous and it could lead to a lifetime of consequences for you and the other people that are involved.  Keep in mind that you are driving a 2000 pound automobile, and it can essentially be a weapon if it is not handled correctly.

The Las Vegas lifestyle

Las Vegas, Nevada is a city like no other in America.  The lifestyle is dominated by three things:

  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Alcohol

This is a city where people come to have a good time.  When I say “have a good time,” I mean that they want to do things here that they would not do in their hometown.  Because of this ideal, the city of Las Vegas caters to this crowd, and essentially encourages the party atmosphere.  The city is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Alcohol is also served 24/7.  There is no such thing as a last call, and of course you can find alcohol anywhere at anytime.

I had a friend that told me when he first moved here, he went to a grocery store at about 3am.  After bringing his groceries to the checkout stand, he asked the store clerk if he was able to purchase alcohol.  It was 3am, so he was not sure if this was the case.  The clerk replied, “This is Vegas…..You can do anything you want!”

That phrase alone shows how Las Vegas is different than every other city in America.  Most cities in America have a cutoff time for alcohol purchases, usually around 1 or 2am.  In some cities, you cannot even buy alcohol on Sundays.  Las vegas does not have any such restrictions.

Interesting DUI statistics

Because alcohol is served so freely, there is no doubt that there are people driving around buzzed or intoxicated at all hours of the day.  According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, here are a coupe of interesting stats:

  • 27% of all traffic fatalities in Nevada were alcohol related
  • Fatal impaired driving crashes in Nevada mostly involve a single vehicle
  • A typical DUI costs $10,000 on average

With information like this, you can see why there are regular DUI checkpoints in Southern Nevada.  In addition to the regular checkpoints that are scheduled, Las Vegas will have other specific checkpoint dates.  Events like the Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament, St. Patrick’s Day, and New Year’s Eve are just a few of the other dates that will have DUI checkpoints around town.

The DUI checkpoints are not a secret.  They are announced on the local news, as well as websites that include the Las Vegas Metro Police website.  There is also a website that is dedicated to offering information about specific DUI checkpoints, including the locations and the dates for many cities around the country.  You can even get text alerts about the checkpoints.

The DUI checkpoints are everywhere, so whether you are driving sober or “buzzed” as some people like to say, the odds say that you will run into one of these eventually.

You can certainly avoid the checkpoints, but what happens if you do not know about the one just up the road?

What are your rights at a DUI checkpoint stop?  The best DUI lawyer in Las Vegas have this important information for you.

Do you have rights during these type of stops?

Thee are obviously protocols that the police officers will follow, but you should not let them just bully you.  Here is some good information that you should know if you get stopped at a checkpoint.  You do have rights if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint.  Remember, they are supposed to be stopping motorists randomly, so just because you are pulled over does not mean that they immediately suspect you are breaking the law.

How far do I need to roll down my window?

I have seen cases where the driver had his window rolled down about half way.  The officer may ask, or tell you to roll down your window all the way.  This is not really necessary.  As long as you can hear each other and the window is rolled down enough where the officer can detect any mysterious odors coming from the car, the window does not need to be rolled down al the way.

Keep in mind that if you want to exercise this right, you will want to speak with the officer with a nice and friendly tone.  As with all traffic stops, it is better for all involved that you are calm and you are following instructions that the officer may give.  If in face you are calm and speak to the officer with a nice tone, they may not push the envelope and insist that you roll down the window all the way.

Can you be ordered out of the car?

You cannot legally be ordered from the car unless the officer detects that you are under the influence of an illegal substance.  Whether you are sober or not, do not argue with the officer if you are asked to get out of the vehicle.  This only complicates the situation, and it will keep you at the checkpoint longer than necessary.

Answering the Have You Been drinking Question

Best DUI Lawyer In Las VegasInevitably, the officer may ask you if you have been drinking.  How do you answer that?  Well, the best way to answer is to say that you respect the officer, and you know that they are just doing their job, but that your attorney instructed you to respectfully plead the 5th Amendment and not answer.  The officer may then ask you to step out of the car so they can conduct a field sobriety test.

The officer may say that they are only offering the sobriety test to help you out and to eliminate the possibility of you being under the influence, but this is false.  If the officer asks you to step out of the car to conduct a field sobriety test, they have already made the determination that you are under the influence.

Once again, you can respectfully tell the officer that your lawyer has told you to decline any field sobriety test.

The main thing here, is that if you come upon a DUI checkpoint, it is beneficial for you to be aware of everything that is going on, such as:

  • Are they stopping every car
  • Are they stopping every other car
  • What questions did they ask

Be aware in general, because there are specific things the police need to do in order for the DUI checkpoint to be Constitutional, and not a per se violation of the Fourth Amendment.  Per se means that the act is inherently illegal.  The police must follow the protocols when they work the DUI checkpoints.  If they violate the Fourth Amendment, then the arrest may not be valid and the charges could be dropped.

Best DUI Lawyer In Las Vegas?

As you can see from this article, there are a lot of moving parts happening at a DUI checkpoint.  For a few different reasons, you may actually need a lawyer after an experience at a checkpoint.

If you do get arrested for DUI, you will need a lawyer to defend you against the the DUI charge.  You need a Las Vegas attorney that is experienced and one that specializes in drunk driving cases.  If you do not get the right lawyer, you can spend time in prison, lose your drivers license, and spend thousands of dollars before this situation comes to a close.

We are considered the best DUI lawyer in Las Vegas because of the high number of cases that we have handled.  All of our attorneys are well-versed in all of the drunk driving laws, and we are at the forefront of any law changes that might take place.  Our firm has a high customer satisfaction rate, and that shows with all of the referrals we receive from past clients.

If you need a lawyer, please contact us, the best DUI lawyer in Las Vegas.  You can give us a call, or you can fill out the form.  We will get back to you immediately.  A DUI arrest is a time sensitive matter.  We understand that you need someone on your side as soon as possible.

The first consultation is always free.  This will allow us to learn the situation. We can then help you figure out the next steps in this matter.  Every situation is different, so we need to understand what has happened in each and every case.

DUI is a serious charge, and you will need a lawyer that will help you through the process.