While many people on Labor Day weekend will celebrate by having drinks with friends, having a BBQ with family, or a related event, law enforcement will be patrolling the streets in full force and setting up sobriety checkpoints to arrest drunk drivers and keep the roads safe.
In Connecticut, sobriety checkpoints are considered legal. Although there has been plenty of debate about the constitutionality of DUI checkpoints, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they are an exception to the Fourth Amendment’s unlawful search and seizure protections. However, there are certain guidelines set forth by the Connecticut State Policy Administration and Operations Manuel that police must follow to conduct sobriety checkpoints.
For instance, the locations of these checkpoints must be provided to the public at least three days before they are active. These clearly-marked locations need to be associated with a history of DUI arrests and drunk driving accidents.
Moreover, law enforcement is required to stop drivers using a neutral formula (i.e. stopping every sixth or ninth vehicle). Stopping every single car or doing so at random is against the law.
Effective tips for navigating a DUI checkpoint in Connecticut include:
- Avoid driving through a sobriety checkpoint – As we mentioned earlier, the locations of DUI checkpoints are announced in advance—often online or in the local newspaper.
- Stay calm – Just because your vehicle is stopped, doesn’t mean you are under arrest for drunk driving.
- Follow simple requests – Law enforcement will most likely ask for your driver’s license, registration information, and proof of insurance.
- Keep answers short and be polite – If the officer asks you questions, answer them without providing any additional information.
- Refuse sobriety tests – You are allowed to refuse field sobriety tests, including the preliminary breathalyzer test.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Connecticut over Labor Day weekend, our experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Sills Law Firm can help you get the best results possible. For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.