April 17, 2013

What to Do if You Are Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint

Pennsylvania Law: What to Do if You Are Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint | Luongo Bellwoar LLP

The other night I was driving home from a hockey game in West Chester when I came upon a DUI checkpoint on Route 322 south of Downingtown. The State Police were out in full force, stopping cars and interacting with the drivers right on the roadway. Pennsylvania DUI checkpoints are a common way for law enforcement to do massive random checks on the public.

On that note, this is a question I get all too frequently – “What do I do if I am driving a car that gets pulled over at a DUI checkpoint”?

If you have had a drink or two but nothing excessive, be calm. The police will be asking you for your paperwork (driver’s license, registration, and insurance card). Get the paperwork ready as you are pulling into the lane where the checks are being completed. When you pull up and the police ask you for the paperwork, hand it over. They will do a quick check and send you on your way. Be polite and courteous, a kind attitude goes a long way.

Most of the time when you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, the police must have probable cause for the stop. With a DUI checkpoint, they don’t need probable cause for the initial stop. There are many rules and regulations for a valid checkpoint to be set-up. If you do get arrested, an experienced West Chester criminal defense attorney can help you determine whether the police have complied with all of those administrative rules and regulations.


Posted In: Criminal Defense, DUI