For some reason, a lot of our clients believe a lot of the stuff they read on social media. For example, when we meet with a client who was arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, they tell us the cops had no right to arrest them. They tell us that they’ve read online that it’s illegal to conduct a DUI checkpoint in the state of Idaho. The sad thing is that they seem genuine when they tell this to one our criminal defense attorneys. They think that all we have to do is argue that the DUI checkpoint was unlawful and the charges against them will be dropped.
If it were that easy, these people wouldn’t need to hire one of the best DUI defense lawyers to make it happen. The truth is, there is nothing illegal about a DUI checkpoint in Idaho or most other states. Law enforcement has the right to conduct these checkpoints in the interests of public safety. Therefore, if you’ve been arrested after being stopped at one of the checkpoints, it’s going to take a lot more than a claim that the stop was unlawful to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
While it is true that DUI checkpoints are legal in Idaho, it’s also the case that you have certain rights. As with any other traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test. In addition, you can choose not to perform the field sobriety test. While doing any of these things will not win over the officer who has stopped you, it may help you down the line when your case goes to trial.
Are the Police Allowed to Set Up Dui Checkpoints in Idaho?
As stated above, the police have every right to establish a DUI checkpoint in Boise, Idaho. As long as they follow very basic guidelines, there is nothing wrong with their doing this. Of course, they have to follow certain guidelines. For example, they must post the location and time of the checkpoint, so the public is aware of it ahead of time. Also, they must stop cars in a systematic fashion. They can’t randomly stop vehicles based on the type of car or state of the driver. This is meant to prevent the cops from profiling certain types of drivers based on gender, race, or age. Aside from these basic requirements, the police are left to their own devices when setting up and conducting these DUI checkpoints.
What Are You Required to Do at a DUI Checkpoint?
If you happen to be one of the vehicles the police stop, you will have to comply with certain requests. For example, you must identify yourself to the police. When you’re issued a driver’s license, you agree to identify yourself to law enforcement.
You must also produce, upon request, your license, registration, and insurance card. The police have every right to ask you to do this. If you refuse, you’ll be looking at charges much worse than DUI. In fact, regardless of whether you turn this identification over to the police, they can still arrest you on suspicion of DUI. It’s not a good idea to get on the officer’s bad side from the start.
You Do Have the Right to Remain Silent
One right you do retain, regardless of the nature of the traffic stop, is the right to remain silent. If the cops ask you questions about where you’ve been or how much you’ve had to drink, you don’t have to answer them. However, you do need to be respectful. Simply tell the officer that you choose to invoke your right to remain silent and that you won’t be answering any of their questions. Will this make them more likely to arrest you for DUI? Probably. However, they won’t be able to use any of the answers you may have given them to the prosecutor to use against you in court.
Can You Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Idaho?
As most drivers know, and as any criminal defense attorney will tell you, drivers do have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test. There is nothing in the law that states you must submit to this test. However, if you refuse to take the tests, there are consequences. Your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a period of one year. In addition, the cop will confiscate your physical driver’s license at the scene. To add insult to injury, they’ll probably still arrest you for DUI. Refusing to take the test may not be used against you in court. However, it can certainly play a role in whether the officer arrests you in the first place.
Some of Our Clients Have Also Refused to Perform the Field Sobriety Test
One thing the best DUI defense lawyers will tell you is that you have the right to refuse the field sobriety test. This is a good idea, especially if you know you can’t pass it. To be honest, if the cops already suspect you have been drinking or using drugs, they’re going to say you performed poorly on the test anyway. They need justification for your arrest. They’ll find this simply through their observations and interactions with you. The last thing you should do is make it easier for them by stumbling your way through a rather difficult field sobriety test.
It’s Best to Let One of the DUI Defense Lawyers Handle Your Case
If you happen to be one of the unlucky few who are arrested during a DUI checkpoint in Boise, give us a call. You’re definitely going to want to have an experienced criminal defense attorney there by your side once the charges are filed. If need be, you can even contact our office from the jail. The sooner you get us involved in your case, the better your chances of having the charges against you dismissed or reduced.