DUI checkpoints are legal in the state of Pennsylvania. Police officers can test drivers at these locations to determine if they have an illegal blood alcohol content. If caught driving under the influence, then a person without any previous criminal record could still face up to six months probation, a suspended license, and a $300 fine.
Many people do themselves a disservice by acting suspiciously at DUI checkpoints. It is actually quite simple to pass through without drawing attention, and here are some steps for driving through these locations safely.
Do not avoid the checkpoint
Police officers keep an eye on cars that try to circumvent the checkpoint. It is best to simply follow through when you approach a spot. You definitely do not want to make an illegal turn to avoid one or else the police can pull you over.
Do act calmly
You do not want to give the officers a reason to ask you to step out of the car. Have your license and registration already out to hand to the officer. You should also roll your window down completely, so it is easy to communicate with the officer.
Do not say anything incriminating
If you did not have anything to drink previously, then feel free to say so. However, if you had one alcoholic drink for dinner, then you do not want to say, “I had one beer earlier.” Instead, you can simply say that you do not wish to answer the question.
Do remember your rights
You have constitutional rights the police must abide by. For example, if an officer asks to search your vehicle, then you are free to say, “No.” This right does not apply if the police officer has reasonable cause to search your vehicle. For instance, if the officer sees a bottle of alcohol in the back seat, then you may need to let him search your car because now there is probable cause you drank earlier.