In an effort to combat the growing problem of drunk driving, Massachusetts has doubled down on its sobriety checkpoints to reduce the number of related traffic accidents and fatalities.
With police officers becoming more cautious, additional security measures put into place, and stringent standards upheld, today’s checkpoints are far more severe in terms of strictness. However, if you suffer from a history of drunken driving, then it’s best to assume that you might be asking this one question: “What do I need to know if I’m facing a sobriety checkpoint?”
Why it matters to be mindful
Although a drunk driving conviction (or the mere idea of being caught at a sobriety checkpoint) doesn’t seem as serious as murder, fraud, kidnapping, or arson, Massachusetts’ stricter stance causes DUIs to bear more weight.
Like any other conviction of a criminal offense, a DUI charge will have a significant impact on your life as a mistake can affect your future in ways you’d never expect. This is why The Fernandez Firm’s experts greatly emphasize avoiding drinking and driving and fighting back with knowledge, and protecting one’s future by remaining mindful.
What happens when you’re caught at a sobriety checkpoint?
The one thing that Massachusetts residents need to understand about sobriety checkpoints is that getting caught can lead to serious consequences, fines, and penalties. However, beyond imprisonment and revocation, the implications can also affect you in the long run in terms of your liberties and privileges that are afforded to you by way of American law!
A few things to know (and do) when you face a sobriety checkpoint
Dealing with a sobriety checkpoint won’t necessarily need to be a cause for worry if you keep the right key pointers and tips in mind. Considering that there are a growing number of checkpoints all over the state, it’s essential to understand that the chances of you being stopped at one are fairly high, but this doesn’t mean that you’re getting booked to jail.
To avoid any misunderstandings that may have you ending up in jail or shone in a bad light in the eyes of the law, here are three points to remember if you drive into a sobriety checkpoint:
Tip #1: Relax
It may sound rather strange to hear the simplest tip being thrown in a guide like this, but it’s especially applicable when it comes to dealing with a sobriety checkpoint.
Regardless if you’ve had a bit to drink or nothing at all, letting a highway officer witness you panicking will—more often than not—act as a “tipoff” that will make you look guilty. By slowing down, being courteous with the approaching officer, and remaining calm, you can ease up any underlying tension and leave the checkpoint in your car instead of in a pair of handcuffs.
Tip #2: Be honest
One surefire way to jeopardize your case when facing a sobriety checkpoint is to lie or use “half-truths” to get out of trouble, especially when you consider the trouble that follows.
Apart from actually being caught and booked for DUI, lying about your state or how much you’ve had to drink will also have you seeing more jail time and fines for obstruction of justice charges. If you’ve had a bit to drink, be honest with the officer about it since they’ll most likely subject you to a breathalyzer test, and they may send you on your way for being below the legal limit.
Tip #3: Know your rights
When you face a sobriety checkpoint and deal with the possibility of going to jail or being arrested, you’ll need to know your rights beforehand.
As such, knowing your rights involves exercising your right to keep your answers to any questions to a bare minimum and getting in touch with The Fernandez Firm in case you are arrested. By remaining calm and understanding your rights, you’ll be able to handle a sobriety checkpoint much better just in case things take a turn for the worse!
Today, the experience of dealing with a sobriety checkpoint is one that is quite common for Massachusetts drivers because of how widespread they are throughout the state. Thankfully, keeping this guide in mind will allow you to remain well-equipped enough to avoid any untoward outcomes or potential jail time and fines during a routine stop!
The Fernandez Firm is a criminal law firm in Boston that helps any client handle the DUI charges that are filed against them. If you want to keep your record clean and maintain your innocence with the help of a dedicated firm that works for your best interest, give us a call today to see how we can help!