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What should you do at a DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoints around Colorado pop up from time to time. While they usually appear during holidays, such as the recent one over New Year's Day weekend, they can randomly appear, seemingly at a moment's notice. 

Even sober, many people behave in a way that gives the police suspicion to arrest them. Sober people can completely fail a field sobriety test. The best advice is to know what to do so that you can be in and out of a checkpoint in a couple minutes. 

Get your documents ready

You likely have to wait in a line until you can speak with an officer. Use this time to get your driver's license, insurance and registration ready. That way you can show the officer everything and be on your way more quickly. Police officers can have an excuse to accuse you of intoxication if you spend a long time trying to find your documentation. 

Be patient but do not talk a lot

You do not want to become aggravated. Every driver has to go through a checkpoint at one time or another, so it is best to just wait calmly. When it is your turn to speak to an officer, you should be polite but keep the conversation to a minimum. There is no need to say what you did before getting in the car. You could inadvertently admit to something that suggests you drank something. 

Protect your rights

You need to be aware of your constitutional rights at these checkpoints. Some people have argued DUI checkpoints go against the Constitution, but courts have frequently sided with law enforcement on the issue. You do not have to agree to a search of your vehicle at one of these stops. If an officer asks to look through your vehicle, then you should simply say, "I do not consent to a search." 

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