DUI checkpoints are legal in Oklahoma and could result in drunk driving charges.
Drunk driving is a common problem throughout Oklahoma and puts the driver and other motorists on the road at risk for potentially serious car accidents and injuries. For this reason, law enforcement officials are aggressive in apprehending offenders while prosecuting attorneys do their best to make DUI charges stick. One of the tools they use in accomplishing this goal is DUI checkpoints. The following outlines what you need to know about these checkpoints and tips on what to do if you are stopped at one.
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DUI Checkpoints Legal in Oklahoma
A DUI checkpoint, which involves police monitored roadblocks designed to apprehend drunk drivers, seems unconstitutional on the surface. While you do have protections against illegal searches and seizures, DUI checkpoints circumvent your individual rights in the interests of maintaining the public safety.
According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office (OHSO), a Supreme Court decision in a Michigan case laid the groundwork for DUI checkpoints to be erected in other states. The court ruled that based on the significant injury risks associated with drunk driving and the number of DUI accidents that occur each year, it poses a danger to all drivers on public roads. As a result, roadblocks are justified to prevent DUI related accidents and injuries from occurring. Officers are trained to look for the signs that a driver may be intoxicated. Based on their suspicions, they are authorized to require a field sobriety test. If you are determined to be under the influence, you can be subject to immediate arrest.
What to do if You Encounter a DUI Checkpoint
Under the Oklahoma Statutes, driving with a blood alcohol content level of .08% is illegal. However, being under the influence of any amount of alcohol or being impaired due to other substances, such as illegal drugs or prescription medications, could also result in DUI charges. DUI roadblocks, which typically involve officers stationed in areas known to be at high risk for drunk drivers and DUI related accidents, are one of the main ways police apprehend offenders.
If you encounter a DUI checkpoint, you have the right to turn around to avoid it. In some cases, the location may be published through the internet or in the paper beforehand. If you are stopped in one, follow these tips:
● Avoid being contentious or confrontational with the officers;
● Inform them first before reaching into your glove box, purse, or pocket for your identification;
● Be aware that you are not required to answer questions;
● You are required to step out of your vehicle when asked, but they need your consent for a sobriety test;
● If you are placed under arrest, contact our DUI defense attorneys immediately.
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At BDIW Law, we provide the strong legal defense you need to protect yourself against the harsh penalties associated with DUI charges. Get our team fighting on your side. To request a consultation, contact our Ponca City DUI defense attorneys today.
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