What most people do not realize about these checkpoints, and really any traffic stop, is the fact that they can refuse to answer any question and refuse to participate in any Standardized Field Sobriety Tests prior to arrest.
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) March 27, 2013
In Raleigh, North Carolina, like so many other cities in North Carolina, there were many people out celebrating St. Patrick's Day earlier this month. During these festivities, Law Enforcement Officers from around the State participated in the 'Booze it or Lose it' Campaign in an attempt to catch people Driving While Impaired North Carolina. As was reported in the News and Record newspaper, the program was very successful in citing individuals with a variety of charges.
During the 'Booze it or Lose it' Campaign, two thousand, three hundred and ninety-one Sobriety Checkpoints and related impairment detection patrols were conducted between March 15th and March 17th. During this time, Law Enforcement Officers were on high alert in their attempt to detect individuals Driving Under the Influence North Carolina.
Between the Checkpoints and other related Patrols, State wide Law enforcement Officers cited almost seven hundred drivers with North Carolina Driving While Impaired. In addition to these tickets, the Police Officers also cited one thousand, four hundred and fifty-eight drivers for seat belt violations, two hundred, fifty-eight child passenger safety violations, five thousand, eight hundred, forty-two speeding violations, and five hundred and fifty-five drug charges. The Law Enforcement Agencies were also able to apprehend four hundred fugitives and recover nine stolen vehicles.
"It is no secret that during times of celebration, many people take to consuming alcohol in public. The Police Officers are aware of it and specifically target these times to catch individuals who may be driving while impaired." Raleigh DUI Attorney M. Moseley Matheson stated. "People need to plan ahead if they intend to go out during these festivities so that they are not caught in these check points."
During a sobriety check point, the Law Enforcement Officers are looking for specific signs of alcohol consumption to justify the furtherance of their investigation. Specifically, the Police are looking for the Driver to admit to previously consuming alcohol prior to driving and/or open containers in the vehicle. Under either circumstance, the Police will likely hold the individual longer to determine whether their is evidence of impairment. Understand that, even without an admission or open container, if the Police have reasonable suspicion to believe the driver is impaired (i.e. alcohol odor on the breath, red/glassy eyes, etc.) they can still detain the driver. Once detained, the Driver will be requested to submit to a battery of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Breath Tests.
"What most people do no realize about these checkpoints, and really any traffic stop, is the fact that they can refuse to answer any questions and refuse to participate in any Standardized Field Sobriety Tests prior to arrest." Raleigh Criminal Attorney M. Moseley Matheson explains. "In fact, all but one of these tests can be refused without any consequence. The only exception is at the point that the Police ask the Driver to submit to a Breath Test on the Intoxilyzer. At check points, this occurs in the 'BAT Mobile (big truck/van with equipment in it), during regular traffic stops, this occurs after arrest and down at booking. If the Driver refuses to provide a breath sample, they will have their license suspended for one year and the police may still take a blood sample to try and prove impairment."
If you are facing a Raleigh DUI Charge or are in need of a Wake County Criminal Defense Attorney, contact the Matheson Law Office, Pllc at 919-335-5291 for a free consultation. Our attorney is available 24-hours a day, Seven days a week.