Illinois law requires that DUI checkpoints must be publicized before they are set up and active. However, there are still many times that drivers are unaware of these stops. If you see one up ahead on the road, can you turn around? Let’s discuss your rights before entering a checkpoint.
How to Avoid a DUI Checkpoint
Technically, you are legally allowed to avoid a DUI checkpoint if you see it ahead. However, you must make sure that you are still following the rules of the road when avoiding the checkpoint. For example, you do not want to make an illegal U-turn in order to avoid the checkpoint. Not only does this make you more suspicious to officers, but it also gives them a reason to follow you and pull you over.
Instead, turn down a side street, at a traffic light, or make another legal move to divert your course.
If You Couldn’t Turn Around In Time
Sometimes, you don’t notice a checkpoint until you’re already in it. Don’t panic!
Here’s some advice for going through the checkpoint:
- Remain calm
- Be polite
- Don’t admit to drinking
- Use your right to remain silent
- If arrested, contact a defense attorney
I Think The Checkpoint Was Illegal. What Do I Do?
In order for DUI checkpoints to be valid and legal, they must follow specific criteria.
- They must have been publicized prior to the start of the checkpoint,
- They must be clearly identified as checkpoints (signage, officers in uniform, marked cop cars),
- They must have an unbiased method of stopping drivers; they cannot just stop people because they ‘look suspicious’, and
- The officers still must establish probable cause to make an arrest.
If the checkpoint does not follow all legal requirements to a tee, this can significantly help your case. If you have reason to believe that the checkpoint you went through was illegal, notify your attorney. If possible, collect evidence showing the violations.
DUI Checkpoint Defense in Chicago, Illinois
Summertime is prime time for DUI checkpoints. If you went through a checkpoint and were arrested, contact our team at The Toney Law Firm, LLC. We want to look into all details of the operation to ensure that your rights were not violated. Based on the information, we can work to craft a strong defense strategy for your case. Get started today; call us at (888) 473-4058.