What to Do at a DUI Checkpoint in Connecticut | CT

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What to Do at a DUI Checkpoint in Connecticut

Posted on in Driving Under the Influence

Stamford, CT DUI defense lawyerNovember’s arrival means that the winter holidays are just around the corner. Holidays usually mean get-togethers with family and friends, holiday parties, and socializing. It also means that police departments across the state will be out in full force, cracking down on drunk drivers.

One tool available to law enforcement is the sobriety checkpoint. This is where police put up a barricade in the road so that drivers will have to stop and engage with officers for a few minutes. If an officer suspects a driver has been drinking, he or she can request the driver submit to a breathalyzer test, field sobriety tests, or other testing to determine if their blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08 percent, the legal limit in Connecticut.

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Some drivers question whether or not police have the legal right to conduct sobriety checkpoints. This question was answered in 1990 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan v. Sitz where the court ruled that sobriety checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment against illegal search and seizures. In 1996, the Connecticut Appellate Court ruled these checkpoints are permissible under the law.

Stopped at a Sobriety Checkpoint

Being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint can be unnerving, even if you have not been drinking. The following are some things to keep in mind if you see a sobriety checkpoint up ahead.

  • Scheduled checkpoints – Police notify the public when and where they will be setting up sobriety checkpoints. The best way to avoid a checkpoint is to keep track of these alerts. If you do come upon a checkpoint and are stopped by an officer, you are required to follow the same rules as any other traffic stop.

  • Do not admit to drinking if asked – Almost every driver stopped at a checkpoint will likely be asked for their license and registration and if they have had anything to drink. Under the law, you are required to provide your license and registration, however, you are not required – and should absolutely not – admit to the officer if you have been drinking.

  • Avoid conversation – No matter how nice the officer seems to be, engaging in a prolonged conversation could give the officer the idea that you have been drinking. The officer will be looking for certain clues, especially any presence of alcohol on a driver’s breath. Be polite, but do not converse with the officer any more than necessary.

Contact a Fairfield County Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you need an aggressive Stamford, CT DUI defense lawyer representing you. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.