L.A.’s Friday and Saturday nights can be filled with a lot of fun – and a lot of DUI checkpoints.
Typically on an L.A. Friday or Saturday night, from around 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. there are one to four DUI checkpoints. During certain holidays, these numbers can increase. While there are digital signs placed ahead of checkpoints, it’s important to know that officers often stake out common “turnaround” areas to watch for panicked drivers who attempt to circumnavigate the checkpoint. This can lead to getting pulled over and traffic tickets.
DUI checkpoint locations are decided based on where DUI arrests and collisions are most commonly reported. Usually about 20 police officers help to manage one checkpoint. And there is a set process – for example: let 3 cars pass, then stop 3.
If Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint
If you get stopped at the DUI checkpoint, a cop will ask if you’ve been drinking. Answering “yes” or “no” is voluntary, but you are legally required to present your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If you show any physical signs of intoxication, an officer will most likely request you do the field sobriety checks. You might also be asked to take a voluntary ” PAS” blood alcohol test. This is done with a preliminary breath-based alcohol-screening device. You may be free to go if this preliminary test shows you’re below the legal limit of 0.08 percent. But if you are above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you will be asked to perform an official Breathalyzer test (done on site) or blood test (done off site).For a more detailed discussion of the procedures, requirements and rights surrounding a DUI stop see a more detailed discussion of our site here.
If Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint
If you are arrested at the DUI checkpoint, you’ll be cuffed, booked, and taken to jail. If this is your first DUI arrest, you will be held until your blood alcohol level drops below the legal limit. Once released, you’ll want to contact a DUI attorney that can help negotiate a settlement for you. A DUI arrest can mean jail time, fines, and alcohol classes. A DUI attorney will be able to advise you on the next necessary steps.
Source: Los Angeles Magazine, How L.A. Works: A DUI, October 25, 2014
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