The late summer months continue to be a peak travel time in South Carolina, with plenty of tourists and locals eager to take advantage of area events and activities. To prevent the inevitable traffic accidents that often result, law enforcement increases their presence over this time of year. At our office, we encounter numerous clients who are ticketed as the result of traffic stops and DUI checkpoints. The following offers advice on what to do during police stops and DUI checkpoints.
Protecting Yourself During A Traffic Stop
Regardless of whether you are doing anything wrong, seeing flashing lights in your rearview mirror is an unpleasant experience most of us would prefer to avoid. The only option in this scenario is to pull over to a safe place as quickly as possible. Slow down and use your turn signal as a way of acknowledging the officer behind you and to show your intent. Once stopped, follow these tips from the South Carolina chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):
Remain in your vehicle as the officer approaches.
Keep your hands on the steering wheel and do not reach for your insurance documents, driver’s license or vehicle registration card until you are instructed to do so.
Remain calm while complying with the officer’s request.
Avoid saying anything that could be used to incriminate you and assert your right to remain silent.
Do not give consent for a vehicle search, but realize that if they have a warrant or reasonable suspicion of a crime they may conduct one anyway.
Pay close attention to the various procedures followed and make note of the location of the stop and the officer’s name and badge number. If you are placed under arrest, do not resist. Refuse to sign any documents or make any statements before speaking with an experienced defense attorney.
What To Do During A DUI Checkpoint
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, the law does allow police officers to conduct DUI traffic checkpoints as a way of ensuring road safety. If you approach one in traffic, do not attempt a U-turn or try to otherwise evade the scene, as this is likely to result in police pursuit.
In general, you will want to follow the same guidelines listed above for handling the situation. If you know that you have used alcohol prior to the stop, even if it was only one or two drinks, you will have to make the decision on whether to consent to a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) test. While you do have the right to refuse, be aware that doing so can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension.
Contact Us Today For Help
As an experienced DUI defense attorney, we can defend you by disputing the reasons for your traffic stop, the procedures that were followed during it, and the results of any DUI testing. To protect yourself against severe penalties associated with DUI or other infractions, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC and request a consultation to discuss your case.