Police throughout the great state of Massachusetts are on the lookout for anyone who is driving under the influence of alcohol. And for that reason, it’s not uncommon for them to set up sobriety checkpoints.
While it’s your hope that you never drive into a sobriety checkpoint, it’s not easy to avoid doing so. One second you’re cruising down the road, but the next you see a checkpoint ahead.
Here are some things to know if you find yourself driving into a sobriety checkpoint:
- Slow down: The thought of driving through a sobriety checkpoint should never cross your mind. The second you realize what lies ahead is the second you should slow down and follow the signs.
- Don’t look suspicious: This is easier said than done, but it’s important. There are many things that can make you look suspicious, such as slamming on your brakes, trying to make an illegal turn or constantly looking over your shoulder.
- Stay in your vehicle: Once you come to a stop, stay where you are and wait for the officer to approach your window. Not only does getting out look suspicious, but it also puts your safety at risk.
- Don’t say too much: The officer will ask you for your license and registration, which you should be able to quickly provide them. If everything checks out, they’re likely to ask if you’ve been drinking. A simple “no” is good enough. If they press you, such as asking where you’re going, an answer such as “home” is adequate. The more you talk, the greater chance there is that you’ll slip.
- Don’t resist arrest: If the officer deems that you’re under the influence and a danger to other drivers and yourself, they’ll put you under arrest. Don’t resist, as doing so puts your health at risk and could lead to additional criminal charges.
Your arrest isn’t the end of the road
Just because you’re arrested at a sobriety checkpoint doesn’t mean that a conviction for OUI will come next. There are steps you can take to defend yourself in court, all with the idea of avoiding a conviction and the harsh penalties typically associated with it.