Do I Have To Talk To Police At DUI Checkpoints?

Everyone at some point in their lifetime of driving as likely come upon  DUI checkpoints.  The question that many may ask is what happens if I refuse to actually speak to the officer?  One Florida lawyer has gone as far as to advocating the use of a flyer in the window to bypass interaction with officers.

For starters, understand that United States Supreme Court has found the use of sobriety checkpoints constitutional.  Under the Constitution, police can require drivers to stop for a brief period so that officers can ask certain questions and observe whether the driver exhibits indications of impairment.  If the officers wish to detain a driver for more extensive sobriety test, the officer will likely need to satisfy a individualized suspicion standard.  Arizona’s Supreme Court, following the US Supreme Court’s holding, has found DUI checkpoints valid.

Second, every state may have different laws governing checkpoints.  In Arizona , officers are permitted to stop a vehicle for 5 to 20 seconds, and case law intimates that officers are entitled to ask one or two questions to determine whether a driver is intoxicated.  This does not necessarily mean you as the driver has to roll down a window to communicate with the officer.  Always remember though, you always have the right to remain silent, there is nothing that compels you to speak to a police officer.  If ever in doubt write out on a pad, “I am asserting my right to remain silent and I want to speak to my attorney.”