Summer is here and with it comes many reasons to celebrate. Good food, music, and alcohol will be flowing at weddings, graduation parties, and family picnics. While it is fun to indulge a bit, it’s important that you don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you have had too much to drink.
In the state of New Jersey, you may be stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. Law enforcement is required to give drivers ample notice that they are approaching a checkpoint. This means that you should see signs alerting you to the fact that a sobriety checkpoint is ahead.
Why does law enforcement set up sobriety checkpoints?
Many drivers assume that checkpoints are set up to cause them to fail. While the police are keeping an eye out for impaired drivers, the real reason behind these sobriety checkpoints is to remind the public to drive safely.
Can I refuse to be questioned at a checkpoint?
Yes, you can refuse to answer questions at a sobriety checkpoint, but be advised that you may make the police officer suspicious. They have the right to arrest you and question you at the station if you invoke your Fourth Amendment Rights.
Can I turn around if a sobriety checkpoint is ahead?
Yes, if you can safely turn around, you may do so. Make sure that you don’t try to do an illegal U-turn or inadvertently endanger another driver. Wait for a safe opportunity to turn around.
What if I am arrested at a checkpoint?
If you are arrested at a sobriety checkpoint remain silent. The police officer should have Mirandized you as they were arresting you. Once you get to the station request to speak with someone who can assist you in understanding the charges against you.