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Do you know what to do at a DWI checkpoint?

It doesn't matter if you're sober or drunk, there's something about a DWI checkpoint that is sure to make you a bit anxious. Fortunately, when you know what to expect and how to act, you minimize the chance of something going wrong.

Here are five steps you can take to ease the tension at a DWI checkpoint:

  • No alcohol in your vehicle: Make it a habit to never travel with alcohol in your vehicle. For example, an open container of beer in your cup holder is a telltale sign that you're under the influence. Just the same, keep unopened beer in the trunk, as you don't want to give the officer any idea of what your plans are for the evening.
  • Avoid erratic driving: This looks suspicious, so it's imperative to slow down to a reasonable speed, stay in your lane and slowly move toward the stop as directed by the officer.
  • Remain respectful: With frustrations high, it's easy to lose your cool and talk back indignantly to the officer. And depending on how you're treated, you may be compelled to throw all respect out the window. Doing so will increase tension between you and the officer, and that's not a battle you can win.
  • Don't say too much: It's okay to answer basic questions, such as those associated with where you're heading. However, if the officer attempts to dig too much information out of you, it's your legal right to remain quiet.
  • Remain calm if you're put under arrest: If this happens for any reason, such as suspicion of DWI, remain calm and quiet while you're transported to a local police station for processing. Fighting back will only complicate things, as it can result in additional criminal charges, such as resisting arrest.

A DWI arrest at a checkpoint is scary. You don't know what's coming next, and you're sure to have concerns about the impact on your future.

Here's the good thing: A DWI arrest doesn't always result in a conviction. Depending on the circumstances and the defense strategy you employ, it's possible to win your case or at the very least fight for a reduced punishment.

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