Understanding DUI Checkpoints and What to Do during Traffic Stops

 Posted on December 22,2014 in DUI

DUI checkpoints, Illinois DUI defense lawyer, traffic stops, DUI defense lawyer, drunk driving, Scott F. AndersonOver the last decade, the Department of Transportation and other government-funded organizations have tested various ways to prevent drunk driving. One of the most successful tactics is using DUI checkpoints, especially during the holidays.

Most Americans are aware that drunk driving is dangerous, and the fact that law enforcement cracks down during certain seasons has become common knowledge. This is more than a scare tactic; it aims to protect the surge of drivers who travel during the holidays.

Unfortunately, many honest people miscalculate their consumption and end up charged with driving under the influence. If you approach a DUI checkpoint and are not sure if you are over the legal limit, the following tips may prove helpful.

Follow the Requests of the Officer

When an officer asks you to pull over the vehicle, the best course of action is to do exactly that. After stopping the vehicle, the officers will usually ask you to turn off the engine.

It is important to stay in the vehicle at all times unless the officer explicitly requests you to exit. Some drivers—often with good intentions—might reach for their license or insurance from the glove compartment. However, do not do this until a police officer requests this information. If an officer observes the driver shuffling around in the car, he or she might become suspicious.

Remain Respectful and Aware

Although a traffic stop might be inconvenient—especially if you have done nothing wrong—it is important to remember that the officers are merely doing their jobs and are trying to ensure safety on the road. Be respectful and attentive when officers are speaking. Always allow an officer to speak first, and only try to speak when directly asked a question.

Drivers who make an honest attempt to listen very carefully to an officer often have an easier experience. Miscommunication can lead to arguments and suspicion.

Do I Have to Answer Every Question?

Many drivers are not comfortable with answering certain questions from police officers, especially at checkpoints. According to, drivers do have the right to respectfully decline any requests for information at a DUI roadblock by stating that they wish not to speak unless an attorney is present. Drivers also have the right to deny any requests to search the vehicle while passing through a checkpoint.

If you are currently facing DUI-related charges and wish to speak with an Illinois DUI defense lawyer, trust Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law to defend your rights. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free initial consultation, call us today at 847-253-3400.

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