You’re driving home from a night out with friends after having had a drink or two and notice up in the distance on your way home a field sobriety checkpoint. All of a sudden your heart begins to race, your face feels flushed, your palms become sweaty, you’re anxious, and starting to think maybe I should turn around and take the back roads home. Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong. These are the exact things you should try to avoid doing in this type of situation. If that isn’t the best thing to do, then what is? Below you will find the five things you should remember to do the next time you are faced with a field sobriety checkpoint.
1. Keep calm.
When approaching a field sobriety checkpoint make sure to not panic, and drive cautiously until designated by an officer to pullover. Keep in mind that not every vehicle will be pulled over at a checkpoint, and if you are chosen to it does not mean that you are suspected of DUI. According to Federal Law, officers are not allowed to detain every vehicle that passes through a checkpoint. The officers conducting the checkpoint are required to use a mathematical formula to determine which vehicles to pullover (i.e. every X number of cars).
2. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
Do not attempt to avoid the checkpoint by performing a U-turn or turning away from it. This will cause suspicion and draw attention to your vehicle, and will likely lead to a “Chase car” pulling you over after you have done so. “Chase cars” are designated officers that look for vehicles that try to avoid a checkpoint.
3. Do what is asked.
If chosen to pull over, while waiting in the designated area try to have your license and registration ready for the officer, they will likely be asking you to provide these documents. Having these items ready will also help in making the process a much smoother and faster one.
4. Performing a field sobriety test.
Federal law requires that the time officers detain a vehicle be kept to a minimum. That being said you will only be asked to step outside of your vehicle and perform a field sobriety test if you exhibit obvious signs of intoxication such as:
- Glossy Eyes
- Slurred Speech
- Slow Motor Skills
- Erratic or Improper Driving
- Strong Odor of Alcohol
- Poor Coordination
Although field sobriety test are optional, refusing to cooperate in a field sobriety test may cause suspicion and lead the officer to believe there is probable cause and allowing the officer to submit you for either a breath, blood, or urine test, all of which cannot be refused per Nevada Per Se law. If you find yourself being arrested for a DUI charge, it is important to contact a Las Vegas DUI attorney immediately following the arrest.
Remember, even if you do fail a field sobriety test and are arrested for a DUI it does not mean you will be convicted for it. There are a number of strategies and defenses that can be used to reduce your penalties or even have the charge dismissed. Be mindful that a DUI charge is a criminal charge and is not to be taken lightly. You will need the help of an experienced and knowledgeable Las Vegas DUI attorney to represent you in court.
Contact us today for a free consultation by calling (702) 529-0333 or submitting the contact request form in the upper right corner of this page.