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What to do at DWI checkpoints

During holidays, North Carolina drivers need to be vigilant of law enforcement's extra efforts to crack down on dangerous driving behaviors. Over the last Thanksgiving weekend, police officers set up more DWI checkpoints than usual, reports WNCT. You can expect similar efforts to pop up around Christmas and New Year's Eve. 

No one in North Carolina should get behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol. However, the wrong behavior could get you in trouble at DWI checkpoints even if you are completely sober. Here are tips for how to act at these checkpoints. 

Go through the checkpoint calmly

You may see a checkpoint up ahead and think you can circumvent it. You should never pull an illegal U-turn to avoid a checkpoint. Many times, officers wait nearby to catch these people. You should slow down and approach the checkpoint calmly. Most of the time, you can get through it in a few minutes.

Get everything ready

You can expedite your time with the police by getting your driving materials, including your license and registration, ready beforehand. You should roll down your window enough to hand the officer these materials. Keep both hands on the steering wheel in plain sight to the officer. 

Remain polite

You may feel inconvenienced you have to go through this when you are sober. You should never use that as an excuse to act angrily. If you act belligerently, then the cops may believe you are under the influence. 

Know your rights

A police officer cannot search your car unless he or she has probable cause you have committed a crime. However, if you grant permission, then an officer can search your vehicle legally. You can deny an officer permission to search your vehicle, and you should use this right. If the officer breaks your constitutional rights, then any evidence he or she finds that suggests a crime occurred cannot hold up in court. 

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Super Lawyers Board Certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar | Federal / State Criminal Law
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