OUI sobriety checkpoints have been in place in Massachusetts since 2012. Here’s what you need to know about sobriety checkpoints, what to do if you encounter one, and how to get legal help after being arrested for OUI at a checkpoint.
What Is an OUI Sobriety Checkpoint?
An OUI sobriety checkpoint is a roadblock where police randomly stop motorists to check if they have been drinking and driving. This is an attempt to get drunk drivers off the roads before they cause an accident, and the roadblocks may be set up in areas where police believe there may be more people operating under the influence.
Sobriety Checkpoint Protocol
Law enforcement officers must follow a certain protocol when setting up and executing an OUI sobriety checkpoint. This includes but is not limited to:
- Notifying the public of the day the checkpoint will be in effect and the county it will be in (police are not required to disclose the exact location of the checkpoint)
- Determining beforehand a random way to select vehicles to stop, such as every 6th vehicle
- Executing breath and field sobriety testing according to normal protocol, such as monitoring the suspect for the appropriate period of time prior to administering the test to ensure they do not eat, drink, chew gum, etc.
What to Do If You Encounter an OUI Sobriety Checkpoint
If you encounter an OUI sobriety checkpoint, take the following actions to protect yourself and your rights:
- Do not turn around or attempt to evade the roadblock. The police are already looking for suspicious activity.
- Provide the officer who stops you with your license and registration when asked, and keep your hands where the officer can see them at all times.
- Do not answer any other questions asked by police. They may ask where you’re going or where you came from, but you are not required to provide this information.
- Do not agree to submit to field sobriety tests or for your vehicle or person to be searched.
Charged with OUI? Contact Adams & Kokonowski, LLC Today
If you’ve been charged with operating under the influence in Massachusetts, it’s important that you don’t wait long before securing the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your rights and future are at stake, and you can be confident that police officers and prosecutors are working against you.
Make sure there’s someone fighting for you in your corner by calling Adams & Kokonowski, LLC today at 413.737.9700.