The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced today that they’re conducting a “traffic safety” checkpoint in San Clemente this Friday night, March 19, 2010 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.
Let’s face it, it’s a DUI checkpoint. In their press release, they say that it’s also to check for people that are not driving with a valid license as well as DUI. Sure.
Should you get caught up in a checkpoint and find yourself pulled aside for further screening, remember – even though they may not be required to read you your Miranda rights (see this post for more information), you don’t have to incriminate yourself and help them build a case against you. You can politely, but firmly, decline to answer their standard questions, including the one that gets the ball started – “Have you been drinking?”
If you are arrested in a DUI checkpoint “Traffic Safety” checkpoint, they are not a guarantee that you’ll be convicted of DUI. First, there are certain legal requirements that must be followed in setting up and conducting the checkpoint. The DA must still be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence . . . without any bad driving, since you were stopped at a checkpoint.
Keep in mind that if you were recently arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to contest the DMV suspension of your license.
Every case is unique. To discuss your case further, give me a call and we’ll set up a time to meet and talk.