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What is a DUI checkpoint and what are your rights?

When you are stopped by a police officer on suspicion of intoxicated driving, they only are allowed to stop you if they have probable cause. However, authorities can get around this if they stop you at a DUI checkpoint.

In some states, DUI checkpoints are illegal, but not in Illinois. DUI checkpoints are places where police stop drivers in a sequence, such as every fifth car that passes, and check for signs of insobriety.

What to expect

A stop when you are not expecting it can be scary. Knowing what happens ahead of time can help calm the nerves. Here’s what happens at a DUI checkpoint.

  1. A police officer will likely ask you for your ID, insurance and registration.
  2. Questions may follow as to where you are headed and if you have been drinking
  3. Depending on if they think you have been drinking, police may ask you to complete a sobriety test.

What are your rights

You can refuse to complete a field sobriety test and the breathalyzer. However, this may be seen as a sign of guilt and can get your license taken away for at least one year.

You can refuse to answer any of the questions that the police ask you. This may create suspicion, though, which can lead to more questioning or an expedition of a sobriety test.

You cannot detour away from a checkpoint. If you try and evade the police by turning around before you hit the checkpoint, a police officer may stop you, and your efforts will have been for nothing anyway.

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