Are you one of the many who automatically become anxious when dealing with the police? If so, you probably cringe when you see a DUI checkpoint looming ahead.
A few states, like Alaska and Texas, disallow sobriety checkpoints, but New Jersey is one of the many that conduct them routinely. Whether sober or not, it is wise to mind your behavior when entering a checkpoint.
Don’t add fuel to the fire
Since your goal is probably getting through the checkpoint quickly, avoid conduct that could worsen your circumstances. If you are nervous, take a breath and try to relax. Fumbling for your license or talking too much from nervousness could make the police think you have something to hide.
At the same time, maintain your most courteous behavior. Always be polite and respectful when dealing with the officers conducting a checkpoint.
Don’t admit to any unlawful conduct
You can refuse to answer incriminating questions the officers may ask. For example, politely decline to answer if they ask whether you have been drinking. You could also say you cannot answer any questions without a lawyer.
The police ask questions to study your verbal responses and body language for indicators of intoxication. Answering them or talking too much can also allow officers to smell alcohol on your breath.
Don’t break any laws
Another way nervousness could get the best of you is when approaching or leaving the checkpoint. Staying calm ensures you don’t break any traffic laws (not using turn signals, speeding away, etc.) that the officers can use against you.
Unfortunately, not everyone leaves a sobriety checkpoint in their own vehicle. If the police arrest you on suspicion of DUI, you may need to seek legal guidance early to defend yourself from conviction.