If you drive around Mississippi roads for long enough, you are bound to
run into a police sobriety checkpoint. In fact, if you’ve never
experienced one, chances are you know someone who has. While not regularly
practiced in every state, in Mississippi, it is a popular tool used by
police to catch motorists who are driving while under the influence (DUI)
of alcohol or drugs. In the event that you find a police checkpoint between
yourself and your destination, it is important to understand your rights.
Below we have listed four tips to help you stay on the right side of the
law when going through a sobriety checkpoint.
Be mindful of what you say: In any interaction with the police, be careful not to give away any more
information than is necessary. In fact, beyond basic identifying and insurance
information, you may not need to say anything further. If an officer continues
in their line of questioning, you can state that you are invoking your
Fourth Amendment right to remain silent.
Remain polite and comply with basic requests: While you do not have to answer an officer’s every question, do
your best to remain calm, collected, and courteous. On one hand, this
can help to demonstrate that you have nothing to hide. It can also help
to prevent your behavior from being interpreted as aggressive or resistant.
Searches may require consent: In the event that an officer escalates an interaction past basic questions,
they may ask to search you or your vehicle. While it may sound like a
command, unless the officer possesses probable cause or a warrant, they
need your consent. You are not required to participate.
Field sobriety tests are voluntary: Another action which requires your consent comes in the form of field
sobriety tests. Common tests include the one-leg stand, the walk and turn,
and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. These tests are not only voluntary,
they can also be inaccurate and unscientific. In fact, your participation
may only serve to give an officer evidence to use against you in the courtroom.
DUI Attorney in Mississippi
While following these tips may help to keep you safe, if an officer has
made the choice to place you under arrest, there is little that you may
be able to do to prevent it. You do not have to talk to the police about
your case without legal representation and at Miller Law Offices, we can
build a powerhouse defense. Our
Pascagoula DUI attorneys understand how to defend against charges stemming from sobriety checkpoints
and can help you to understand the nature of your case.
Do you have questions about your case? Call (888) 424-8132 or
contact us online to get started on your defense.