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Do DUI Checkpoints Violate Your Privacy in Colorado?

There are many methods law enforcement uses to try to prevent people from driving while under the influence. One of the measures Colorado Springs and Denver take is establishing DUI checkpoints on the road. These are checkpoints where you will most likely come into contact with a police officer who is there to ensure drivers are not inhibited in any way.

Like many people in the Colorado Springs area, you may be worried about the implications of DUI checkpoints for your privacy and your rights as a US citizen. If this is something you are worried about, a criminal defense attorney can help you understand the legal ramifications of DUI checkpoints and what your rights are.

The Legalities of DUI Checkpoints in Colorado

In 1990, the United States Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment for the drivers who were stopped. The Fourth Amendment was created to protect individuals from unreasonable and illegal searches and seizures by law enforcement.

Although DUI checkpoints may be inconvenient, they are typically legal in Colorado. DUI checkpoints are not allowed to delay individuals unless there is evidence of impairment. Law enforcement officers at these checkpoints are also not allowed to search your vehicle without evidence of possible impairment.

What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint?

Whether you have a history of DUI charges or not, you may feel uneasy at the thought of having to stop at a DUI checkpoint. It can feel unsettling for many individuals since the law enforcement officers at these checkpoints are purposefully looking for signs of intoxication.

For the average driver who is not impaired, this will be a very quick process once you get to the checkpoint. Here is a step-by-step process of what will happen so that you know what to expect.

Stop

The lanes coming towards a DUI checkpoint will section off so that drivers merge into one or two lanes that come up to the checkpoint. The lanes coming up to the checkpoint will be clearly marked so it is safe to come to a complete stop while other drivers are behind you.

Then, you will need to roll down your window when you get to the officer so that they can speak with you.

Contact

The main reason why the officer will want to speak with you is to see if they detect any signs of intoxication. They will do this by analyzing whether you are coherent, look sober, or if there are any signs of alcohol or drugs in the vehicle. Because of this, the officer may ask for your driver’s license and insurance information and may make small talk regarding where you are coming from and where you are going.

The area that draws personal privacy and individual rights into the question is that the officer can do a sobriety test if they suspect you are intoxicated. The problem with this is that there are some signs of intoxication that could indicate very different things. For instance, the officer may think that you are intoxicated if you have red and watery eyes as a result of allergies or if you struggle to communicate clearly due to a verbal disability.

If you have a disability or illness that could make it seem as though you are intoxicated, this is something you may want to tell the officer.

Investigation

If the officer has a reasonable suspicion that you may be intoxicated, they have the right to perform field sobriety tests right then and there. Drivers can also be arrested at the checkpoint if there is adequate evidence to support probable cause that they may be intoxicated.

If this is something you are experiencing, you will need to find a Colorado criminal defense law firm as soon as possible. They will be able to look over the details of your arrest to pinpoint if there are any rule violations or if the arrest was unlawful. In many instances, the charges are dropped as officers don’t always adhere to the strict regulations.

Even if there is substantial evidence against you, charges cannot stand if the investigation or arrest was unlawful and your rights were violated.

Your Rights at DUI Checkpoints

Even though DUI checkpoints in Colorado are designed to protect drivers, sometimes they can work against you. You will need to be aware of your rights as a US citizen so that you are not falsely accused or arrested for a DUI at one of these checkpoints.

The first thing you need to remember is that you have Constitutional rights, which give you the right to remain silent at a DUI checkpoint. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from incriminating themselves by answering questions that could be used as evidence against them. Checkpoint officers are not required to read you your Miranda rights, but they still apply.

Another thing to remember that many people are not aware of is that you can turn around or exit the roadway to avoid sobriety checkpoints. As long as you are not breaking any roadway laws, you have every right to do this if you do not want to stop at the checkpoint.

You are also not legally obligated to take a field sobriety test or breath test unless you have been taken into custody. However, there may be other consequences, such as license revocation, depending on your individual circumstances and where the breath or blood tests are requested.

Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of Clifton Black

If you have a history of DUI charges, you may be nervous about having to stop at DUI checkpoints. These are checkpoints that are designed to catch people driving while intoxicated. Although the idea may be beneficial, many people are concerned about what this means for their personal privacy.

At The Law Offices of Clifton Black, our criminal defense law firm can help you navigate DUI laws in Colorado and protect your privacy. For the best DUI defense, contact us today at 719-328-1616 for a consultation.

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Exceptional Experience & Results

For over 20 years we have represented clients in Colorado from a client-centered approach. We are experts within the areas of Cannabis Law, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Business Law. We believe in protecting the rights of businesses and individuals with precision, exceeding client expectations with each case. Client satisfaction inspires us to strive for excellence in everything we do.

Schedule Your Consultation with a Trusted Attorney Today!

Need legal help in business or criminal areas in Colorado? Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our expert attorneys focus in business law and criminal defense, providing clear advice for your specific needs. Benefit from our years of experience as we deliver targeted solutions and defend your rights every step of the way.