If you are stopped at a roadblock, it is crucial to know and understand your rights, so you can effectively protect them. Oftentimes, drivers are so overwhelmed and intimidated by the situation that they make the mistake of assuming they must fulfill the law enforcement officer's every request. Before you hit the road again, take a moment to learn more about your rights when stopped at a roadblock.
FAQ: What Should I Do When Stopped at a Roadblock?
At a roadblock, law enforcement officers cannot reasonably stop every single motorist. Instead, drivers are randomly selected and stopped. If you are asked to stop at a roadblock, this is not optional. You are legally required to comply with the officer's request.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding roadblocks:
- What information do I have to provide? Generally, when stopped at roadblock, a law enforcement officer will ask to see your driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. You must comply with this request as you would any other time a law enforcement officer stops you on the road.
- Are the police allowed to search my vehicle at a roadblock? Unless a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds or a warrant, they cannot search your vehicle. However, if they already suspect you are intoxicated, this is reason enough to search your vehicle.
- Can I refuse a personal search? You cannot refuse a personal search at a roadblock, but you can request an officer of the same sex to perform it. You can even have the search postponed until an officer of the same sex is available.
- Can an officer force me to pay any outstanding fines? It is possible that you might be arrested for outstanding fines at a roadblock, but they cannot force you to pay it during a roadblock stop.
- Do I have to take an alcohol test? There are a few different types of tests an officer might ask you to take at a roadblock to assess your sobriety or level of intoxication. You might be asked to submit to a field sobriety test, a blood or breath test, or a preliminary alcohol screening. Although you are not required to take the field sobriety tests, the officer will likely still arrest you. That said, your refusal will at least lessen the amount of evidence they are trying to mount against you. You can also refuse the preliminary alcohol screening, which is a portable breath test. However, if you are arrested and asked to take a blood or breath test at the station or hospital, you are legally required to comply. Otherwise, you will face additional charges.
If you see a roadblock up ahead, you have the right to avoid it as long as you obey traffic laws and drive safely while doing so.
Seek Skilled Legal Representation as Soon as Possible!
If you were arrested for a DUI during a roadblock stop, you should not assume that your fate is sealed. At Ahmad Law Firm, our criminal defense team is dedicated to providing aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation. You can count on us to provide the fierce legal advocacy you deserve.
Call our law office today at (847) 791-2294 to arrange a free consultation!