Drunk driving accidents injured and killed a significant number of people on New York roads. Police now set up DUI checkpoints at locations in the state to reduce collisions and potential fatalities. Drivers stopped at checkpoints still have rights, and the police cannot legally violate due process or perform an illegal search. Not all drivers might be aware of their rights, which may result in legal troubles.
Basic rights afforded to all
When dealing with law enforcement, the public retains the right to remain silent. Even though the police may ask a driver or passenger questions, no one is under any requirement to answer. Invoking the right to remain silent and requesting the questions go through an attorney remains an option.
Yet, some may choose to get into discussions with the police at checkpoints. Doing so could lead to admitting guilt or making a statement that might otherwise provide the police with probable cause to search the vehicle.
“Probable cause” that someone committed a crime might open legal doors to a search and arrest. Smelling alcohol on someone’s breath may lead to a field sobriety test. Smelling drugs could result in a vehicle search. However, when no probable cause exists, the police cannot perform a search without someone’s consent.
Dealing with an illegal stop
Drivers with dashcams might record evidence that shows the police acted inappropriately. This could lead to evidence becoming suppressed or charges thrown out. Even without video and audio evidence, there are ways an attorney could address illegal stops and behavior in court. Anyone facing DUI/DWI charges could speak with an attorney about the matter.