The police often set up checkpoints as a way to identify drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol. If you encounter a checkpoint that you don't want to drive through, you might wonder if you can simply perform a U-turn to avoid it. While some U-turns are legal, this action can lead to the police suspecting that you are driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Consequences of Making a U-Turn
After making the U-turn to avoid the checkpoint, the police have the option of following you. They may contact other officers and inform them that you evaded the checkpoint. You might then find yourself subjected to a sobriety test anyway.
When you are pulled over, you will want to be polite to the police officer and provide them with information such as your license and proof of insurance when they request it. Outside of these questions, you have the right to remain silent. Then, you might be asked to perform a field sobriety test.
How a Field Sobriety Test Works
If you choose not to participate in the field sobriety test, this can be used against you and can also be used to give you a harsher penalty. The test is meant to determine if you are sober and able to operate a vehicle safely. If the officer determines that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, they may arrest you and physically remove your license. Even if you make bail, you will need to request a hearing to be able to get your license back.
While testing your sobriety, you may need to take a breathalyzer test, urine test, or blood test. All of these tests can be inaccurate and if administered improperly. For example, a breathalyzer test might not be properly calibrated.
Your case might rise to the level of a felony if you have committed a DUI in the past or if you have a very high BAC. Proving your innocence or reducing your charges from a felony to a misdemeanor can be difficult without the help of a felony attorney.
Field sobriety tests aren't always the most accurate indicator of your level of intoxication. There are other reasons you may fail one of the tests, such as feeling nervous, wearing unstable shoes or walking on a sloped surface.
For more information, contact a professional such as Peter A. Garin, Attorney At Law.