It is surprisingly easy to find yourself in a situation where you have unintentionally driven while legally drunk. Alcohol metabolizes at different rates depending on a variety of circumstances. As a result, you could feel completely sober and still have a blood alcohol level that is above the legal limit. This challenging reality can make the possibility of encountering a DWI checkpoint inherently stressful.
When are DWI checkpoints set up?
DWI checkpoints are legal in New York and can be set up by local law enforcement at virtually any time. Although the public has a legal right to be notified in advance that a DWI checkpoint is being set up in their community, these alerts can be difficult to track down. If DWI checkpoints make you nervous, you may want to download an app on your phone to help you avoid them.
DWI checkpoints are most often set up during periods of heavy drunk driving traffic. They tend to operate late at night, on certain holiday weekends and early in the morning when people who may still be drunk are trying to drive home.
What to do if you encounter a checkpoint
If you encounter a checkpoint, you will likely be required to stop. Some checkpoints do not require every car to stop, but others do.
When you stop, a law enforcement officer may ask you to roll down your window in order to speak with him or her. The officer will likely ask you a few questions and ask to see your driver's license. If the officer suspects that you have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, you may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer and/or field sobriety tests.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
It is important to know your rights before you are stopped at a DWI checkpoint. However, if you get nervous and have questions, do not be afraid to call an attorney with those questions before you submit to questioning or tests. Similarly, if you believe that your blood alcohol level is under the legal limit but you unintentionally test positive for a high BAC, do not hesitate to contact an attorney for assistance.
There are many ways that an attorney can help you to either avoid or mitigate potentially serious consequences of testing positive for drunk driving. Asking for help as soon as you can may help you to ensure that an already stressful situation does not become even more so.