Memorial Day is just around the corner. With the long weekend approaching, it is important to understand your rights if you are pullover over at a sobriety checkpoint. Continue reading to discover what to expect while driving through a checkpoint.
What should I expect driving through a sobriety checkpoint?
There must be a purpose for a DUI checkpoint to be set up. Each DWI checkpoint in New Jersey should be established by a supervisory authority and targeted to a specific area at a designated time and place. It is required for law enforcement to notify drivers of the roadblock using lighting and signs. Police are also required to use a neutral formula in deciding who to stop. They are not permitted to stop drivers based on appearance alone. During a sobriety checkpoint stop, police will ask basic requestions, look for signs of impairment, and request documentation.
What are my rights if I get pulled over at a checkpoint?
It is required for drivers to take a breath test to determine blood alcohol content if requested by the police. The law of implied consent states that the driver must take the test or else they will be charged with refusal. This is the case if the driver was drinking or not.
When an officer asks you questions during a checkpoint, you are only required to provide your vital information. You can refuse to answer questions that go beyond basic information. You also have the right to refuse if the officer asks to search your vehicle.
Are temporary DUI sobriety checkpoints prohibited in New Jersey?
Temporary DUI sobriety checkpoints are prohibited by police officers if they are conducted at their own discretion. DUI checkpoints are prohibited from being performed without a police offer’s commanding officer’s directive. It is also prohibited for police officers to select a DUI checkpoint location or time. It is required for checkpoints to be reported with the exact time and date, how the checkpoint will be set up, the reason for the checkpoint, and the location and purpose of the checkpoint.
How can an attorney help me if I have been arrested at a sobriety checkpoint?
If you have been arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, you should first retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will be able to assess your case to discover if the sobriety checkpoint was lawfully conducted. If your attorney is able to determine the checkpoint was unlawful or that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, they will be able to provide a viable defense against your DUI charge. Your attorney will also be able to work to decrease the severity of your charges if the arrest was determined to be lawfully conducted.
If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, reach out to our firm today to discuss your options and discover what we can do for you. We are here to help.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.