Request a Free Consultation

What are My Rights at a DUI Checkpoint?

Request a Free Consultation
Posted on June 26, 2023

A DUI charge can cause a ripple effect in life, affecting your home, finances, and job status. It is a severe and costly offense. Every driver is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and you have rights that can protect you.

Speaking with a DUI criminal defense attorney should be a priority if you have been charged with an offense in central Illinois, even if you are only visiting. Your fair treatment and supportive defense should be the goal.

DUI Charges in Illinois

According to recent statistics, almost 22,000 DUI arrests were made in Illinois, with 91% of the drivers arrested for DUI losing their driving privileges. And 86% of those arrests were first offenses. 

You have certain rights at a DUI (or sobriety) checkpoint. What can or should you do for the best outcome if you have been drinking and encounter law enforcement at a checkpoint in central Illinois?

Your Responsibilities as a Driver

As a driver, you are required to produce certain information at a checkpoint. Failure to present this documentation, even if you have not consumed alcohol, can result in a ticket. What is the required documentation a driver must carry?

  • The insurance information for your vehicle 
  • Your driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration

Your Legal Rights at a Checkpoint

When you know your rights, you can advocate for yourself. But we encourage you to have a sober friend or family member drive, use a rideshare, or cab service. These methods of transportation are far cheaper than a DUI.

  • A driver is allowed to take another route upon seeing a DUI checkpoint. But officers observing vehicles may become aware of those drivers choosing to avoid the checkpoint.
  • By law, responding to questions at a DUI checkpoint is not required. A driver can keep the window up after presenting a card that says you wish to speak with an attorney before answering questions.
  • Submitting to field sobriety tests is optional. Failing to submit to a test can either make it more challenging for the officer to prove you have been drinking or harder for you to prove your sobriety.
  • Drivers may refuse the preliminary breath tests. But if a driver is arrested or ticketed, they must undergo chemical testing.

Continuing to refuse chemical testing, including breath tests, after being ticketed or arrested can result in a suspension of the driver’s license for at least one year. Additional penalties will result from a DUI conviction, and the driver’s refusal of testing can be used against them in court.

Law Enforcement’s Responsibilities

Procedures are in place that law enforcement must follow for DUI, also known as sobriety checkpoints. Otherwise, they do not comply with state law.

  • Explicit identifiers such as traffic cones and signs must be present to mark and identify checkpoints and officers. Uniforms and marked patrol cars are required.
  • A non-biased determinant must be in deciding which vehicles to pull over.
  • Probable cause must be present for a DUI arrest to occur.
  • Checkpoints cannot be random or sporadic but must be publicized. It is a requirement to make the time and location available.

Superior DUI Defense in Illinois

Preparing beforehand has proven beneficial for individuals at DUI checkpoints. Knowing your rights allows you to act in defense of yourself. But a charge of DUI in central Illinois demands a top attorney in DUI defense.

Let the team of Holley, Rosen, & Beard, LLC, work to achieve the best possible outcome if you have been charged with a DUI at a checkpoint in Illinois.