September 20, 2018
Kansas and Missouri DUI Checkpoints: What are Your Rights?
If you’ve ever been out for a fun evening, you may have run into a DUI checkpoint. These roadblocks are in place so that the police can investigate people who might have been drinking. While the stops are often perfunctory, they give the police a chance to peek into your car and determine if you’re intoxicated. These checkpoints can be intimidating, but it’s important to remember that you have constitutional rights that the police can’t ignore.
Understand Your Rights
Lawmakers often believe that they can use fear as a deterrent. However, unless they’re given probable cause, the police cannot search you or your car. The 4th Amendment strongly protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by the police or other government agents. There are serious rules surrounding DUI checkpoints, so if you go through one in Kansas or Missouri, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Kansas DUI Checkpoints
The Kansas DOT sets up checkpoints so that drunk drivers will anticipate getting caught and think twice. If you find yourself in a DUI checkpoint, remember:
- You don’t have to answer any questions that can get you in trouble. The police can ask for your license and insurance, but that’s all – you are free to refuse to answer any other questions until you have a lawyer present.
- You do not need to consent to a search. If you tell the officer that you do not consent and he or she finds probable cause, your defense attorney may be able to argue for an unlawful search.
- Don’t be intimidated into getting out of your car for a sobriety test. You can say no and ask why if a police officer asks you to get out of your car of a test. Be polite but firm – you are within your rights to say no to a sobriety test.
Missouri DUI Checkpoints
If you’ve been in Westport, you know that there are new rules that keep drivers from leaving until 3 am. This rule protects pedestrians, but it’s also an effective way to keep an eye on drunk drivers. DUI checkpoints are legal in Missouri so it’s important to keep your wits about you if you get stopped. Be polite, and don’t respond to any questions unless you can truthfully answer. It’s also important to note that you don’t have to consent to a sobriety test, but if you refuse a breath or urine test, it could result in your license being suspended for one year. If you happen to get into trouble on a Saturday night in Westport, call a DUI attorney immediately.