Knowing Your Rights at a Colorado DUI Checkpoint

In Colorado, it is common for police to set up Driving Under the Influence (DUI) sobriety checkpoints along the roadway to target drunk drivers. If you arrive at one of these checkpoints, you will have to come to a stop and officers may briefly question you. They will be looking for signs of intoxication, such as any type of motor impairment, slurred speech or the smell of alcohol in your car. If they suspect you’ve been drinking, officers will likely ask you to step out of your car and submit to a field sobriety test and possibly a blood alcohol test.

Knowing your rights when passing through a DUI checkpoint in Colorado can help protect you against unjust charges. Listed below are some questions and answers to help you make the best decision at a DUI checkpoint.

What if I Turn Around When I See the Checkpoint?

It is not illegal to turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint, and officers are not allowed to pull you over on suspicion alone. However, if you make an illegal turn or break the law in any way to avoid the checkpoint, then you can bet you’ll be pulled over. An abrupt U-Turn is likely to raise suspicion from the police, so if you do turn around, do so in a legal manner.

Do I Have to Speak to the Police?

You are not legally obligated to speak with officers at a DUI checkpoint. It is within your rights to show them a card that expresses your desire to exercise your constitutional rights, including the right to remain silent until speaking with an attorney.

Do I Have to Submit to Chemical and Roadside Testing?

BAC chemical tests are used to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content. To subject you to such a test, an officer must have “probable cause” that the driver is intoxicated and therefore subject to arrest. If an officer believes that they have probable cause, then you cannot refuse the tests without facing legal consequences.

However, roadside testing, such as the Walk and Turn test, is a different story. These tests are voluntary, and drivers have the right to refuse them. Refusing to take a field sobriety test cannot be later used against you as evidence of intoxication. Because even sober people can fail these tests for a variety of reasons, it’s generally not recommended that you submit to field sobriety tests.

Contact a Knowledgeable Adams County DUI Defense Attorney Today

In Colorado, a DUI charge remains on a person’s record for life. For this reason, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced DUI attorney who will fight on your behalf. As a Brighton DUI lawyer, John Anderson will zealously petition the court to have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely by presenting your case in the best possible light. Contact the Law Office of John A. Anderson, Jr., LLC online to discuss your legal needs in detail, or call us at (303) 880-7994 for a consultation.