DUI Checkpoints: What Are My Rights?
For many people driving home at night, the last thing they want to see is a DUI checkpoint. Whether you have been drinking or not, these checkpoints can sometimes turn into legal nightmares. To learn more, here are some key details regarding your rights at DUI checkpoints in Kansas City.
Are They Legal?
In Missouri, it is legal for police to set up DUI checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. However, state law requires the public be notified of these checkpoints in advance, and the checkpoints must also utilize signs and other equipment that makes them clearly visible to motorists.
Can Police Search My Vehicle?
According to criminal lawyers in Kansas City, police can only search your vehicle at a DUI checkpoint if they have probable cause or permission to do so. Also, officers cannot simply pull over your vehicle for no reason, so they must have verifiable proof of a traffic violation before stopping your vehicle. In these instances as well, a search can only be conducted due to probable cause or permission.
Must I Answer Questions?
If stopped at a checkpoint, be polite and calm. However, say as little as possible. If officers ask if you have been drinking, only answer if you have not been drinking. While you are required to identify yourself, you are under no obligation to tell officers where you have been or what you have been doing prior to being stopped. In addition, when speaking with a criminal defense attorney Kansas City residents will learn they are also not obligated to submit to field sobriety tests. However, if they don’t, their driver’s license will automatically be suspended for one year.
If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint and feel your legal rights have been violated, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Missouri Kansas City such as John A. Picerno.