Super Bowl weekend is notorious for its high volume of DUI arrests. Stay safe, watch for checkpoints, and follow our seven tips for DUI checkpoints!
The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced that it would be stepping up drunk driving enforcement this Super Bowl weekend. Super Bowl XLIX is being hosted at The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. While DUI enforcement always peaks over Super Bowl weekend, law enforcement will be especially vigilant knowing that the Super Bowl is being held in their own backyard.
In light of the impending Super Bowl weekend, the Phoenix DUI attorneys at MayesTelles PLLC have provided the top 7 things you need to know about DUI checkpoints.
1. Police Don't Have to Have Reasonable Suspicion
In order to make a lawful traffic stop, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion that the driver committed an offense. With DUI checkpoints, that's not the case. Law enforcement officers do have to follow certain guidelines for stopping vehicles (for example, determining ahead of time to stop every 4th car) and announce the checkpoint ahead of time.
2. Don't Attempt to Avoid a DUI Checkpoint
If you come across a DUI checkpoint while driving, do not attempt to turn around and go another route. In some circumstances, avoiding a DUI checkpoint could be considered fleeing police, a crime within itself.
3. Searching Your Vehicle
Police cannot search your vehicle at a DUI checkpoint unless they have probable cause that you committed an offense or you consent to a search. You are not obligated to consent to a search, so if law enforcement says something like "You don't have anything to hide do you? Mind if I look in your vehicle?" you can respond by saying "I don't consent to searches."
4. Length of Detention
If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement cannot keep you for an unreasonable amount of time. If police continue to question you and hold you excessively at a checkpoint, try asking them if you are being detained. If you are not being detained, then lawfully they must let you go.
5. Drug Dogs
Police do not need to have reasonable suspicion to let drug dogs search the perimeter of your vehicle at a DUI stop. Drug dogs can actually give police the reasonable suspicion they need to search the interior of someone's vehicle. As long as the drug dog "search" does not result in you being held for an unreasonable amount of time, law enforcement can use them.
6. Stepping Out of the Vehicle
If you have not yet been arrested, you do not have to get out of the car for police. Law enforcement at DUI checkpoints often ask drivers if they would "step out of the vehicle," but drivers are not obligated to do so. In order to avoid seeming uncooperative, you can step out of the vehicle anyway and explain to the officer that you do not consent to searches – in this case, the search of your person. The officer cannot pat you down or insist that you perform field sobriety tests.
7. Field Sobriety Tests
By law, you are not required to perform field sobriety tests for law enforcement officers if they stop you at a DUI checkpoint. These are administered prior to your arrest. If you refuse, you may be arrested and taken for chemical testing. Chemical tests, such as breath, blood, and urine tests, are required by law after a DUI arrest. Failure to perform or complete a mandatory chemical test can result in the automatic suspension of your driving privileges.
If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint over Super Bowl weekend, contact the skilled Phoenix DUI defense lawyers at MayesTelles PLLC for a free evaluation of your case!