Author Archives: Byron Roope

What to do at a DUI Checkpoint

Under state and federal constitution law, California law enforcement perform 2,500 + DUI checkpoints annually. Officers are stationed to check drivers for signs of intoxication and impairment. The likelihood that you will be stopped in a California DUI checkpoint is high. Being prepared to handle the situation will allow you to maintain your rights and freedom. Here is some help.

By law DUI checkpoints should be publicly announced or posted. With dates and possibly even times of day. As a driver nears a checkpoint, in progress, there should also be adequate signage and informative cones, lights, or officers directing traffic.

Your Right to Avoid the Checkpoint

It is legal to avoid a DUI checkpoint all together. You have the right to choose a different route if it is available. While most checkpoints are systematically placed for convenience and effectiveness this may be harder in certain situations. While you have the right to choose another route or road, you must do it lawfully. Very often, saturation patrols are conducted in the vicinity of a checkpoint itself.

These officers are restrained by the standard of probable cause, but will pull you over for an unlawful U-turn, speeding, lighting issues (at night), or license plate discrepancies, ext. Beware of these conditions before you decide to avoid a checkpoint.

Systematic

Let’s say that you have decided to pass through the checkpoint. As you proceed to the checkpoint, either guided by cones and signs, or officers, prepare to stop and show proof of license. Remember that stops are often systemic to maintain legality. They may also be stopping every car, or they may stop vehicles in a pattern (for example every third, fifth, or tenth).

Law requires the checkpoints to be brief and to the point. Maintain your hands on the wheel and be polite, as the officers should be as well. They may ask some basic questions. Be polite and honest. Being transparent and honest will speed up the stop.

As you proceed through the stop, remember that other officers are on patrol in the area. Manage your speed and lane changes, etc. This will ensure that you have a good experience before, during, and after the DUI checkpoint. The best rule of thumb for a successful DUI checkpoint experience is don’t drink and drive. This is the best standard for avoiding any legal action.

If you do need legal assistance, contact the Law Office of Byron Roope.

First Time DUI Offenders, What to Expect

Experiencing a DUI arrest for the first time can be confusing and it can be hard to understand what rights you still have. Knowing the basics of California DUI law and proceedings can be helpful in the outcome of your case and freedoms. Here is some help.

Being Pulled Over

As soon as you are pulled over for a DUI the officer will want standard documentation – driver’s license, insurance, and proof of registration. You will most likely be asked to perform a breath or blood test, an officer will request these tests under probable cause. Refusing to perform these test can be problematic. License suspension, financial, and legal action can mount as you refuse to be tested. California law allows for three types of testing: Breath, blood, and urine in specific situations such as someone taking anticoagulants for heart conditions, or who have hemophilia.

DMV Action

An officer will confiscate and send your license to the DMV. This is done with a notice of suspension or revocation form and a sworn police report. The DMV will then conduct an administrative review including the following elements: an examination of the officer’s report, suspension or revocation order, and test results.

You have the right to dispute the license suspension with the DMV, through a hearing within 10 days of the incident. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is ideal in a DUI situation. Every incident is unique and you will only benefit in having representation and legal guidance in your corner.

Possible Penalties

Understanding the penalties for a DUI are critical. Listed here are the penalties you should expect if you are found guilty of a DUI:

  • Up to 6 months jail time
  • Up to $1,000 fine before penalties and assessment
  • License Suspension from 30 days to 10 months
  • Interlock ignition device, IID, in some counties

First offenses for DUI can categorized in two ways, not having a prior at all, or not have a prior within 10 years under California law. Facing DUI charges and a possible conviction, especially for the first time are best handled with the guidance and representation of a lawyer. For additional facts and possible legal representation contact an attorney here.