Colorado Springs DUI Checkpoint Lawyer
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure by the government. Police officers need probable cause to pull you over in most cases. DUI checkpoints are an exception to the rule since the U.S. Supreme Court determined that drunk or drugged driving is a significant threat to public safety.
In Colorado, police are authorized to set up roadblocks and check the drivers they stop for DUI. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence at a DUI checkpoint, it is important to understand your rights and to consult with an experienced DUI checkpoint attorney regarding your defense.
DUI checkpoints are often scheduled on heavy alcohol consumption days, such as Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th, and New Year’s Eve. Police must comply with strict guidelines implemented by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Drivers must be adequately warned that they are approaching a checkpoint, which should cause as little inconvenience as possible. Among other requirements, checkpoints are only legal if law enforcement:
- Provides public notice in advance of pending checkpoints
- Places checkpoints in safe locations
- Establishes procedures to ensure checkpoints are nondiscriminatory (for example, adopting a system of stopping every fifth vehicle)
- Staffs checkpoints adequately with police personnel in uniform or with marked vehicles
Law enforcement typically cordons off part of the road, forcing traffic to merge into one or two lanes. If you are stopped, an officer will ask you to roll down your window and produce your driver’s license and vehicle registration. The officer will be alert for any sign of intoxication, such as red eyes, slurred speech, difficulty producing your license and registration, or the smell of alcohol or marijuana in the vehicle.
If police suspect you are stoned or drunk, a DUI investigation may follow. They may ask you to step out of the vehicle and submit to field sobriety tests and/or a preliminary alcohol screening breath test. If police believe you are intoxicated, you may be arrested for DUI or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs).
- When approaching a sobriety checkpoint, you have a legal right to take a side street or turn around to avoid the checkpoint, but only if you do so safely and without violating any traffic laws.
- You are not legally required to submit to field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test, but if you refuse the breath test, you may be arrested and required to submit to a blood test. If you refuse the blood test, your license will be automatically revoked.
- You are not required to provide information about where you are going to or coming from.
- If you are arrested, police officers must read you your Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent – always respectfully exercise that right.
If you are stopped and arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, cooperate with police officers, behave respectfully, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including criminal penalties, driver’s license suspension, and a criminal record that can significantly impact your future prospects. Your best chance of obtaining the best possible outcome is to have a skilled criminal defense attorney handling your case.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we have more than two decades of experience in criminal defense. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively defend you against DUI charges. Contact us at (719) 475-2555 for a free and confidential case review.