Sobriety checkpoints are constitutionally legal stops in Massachusetts that allow police officers to stop cars and check drivers for DUIs. These stops are legal as long as they are performed in a systematic or random way. Officers are not allowed to target motorists during these stops. Typically, these sobriety checkpoints are conducted on busy main roads that have historically been “problem” areas, or areas where more DUIs have occurred. Oftentimes, these checkpoints occur during holiday weekends, or other times of the year when DUIs are more prevalent.
While during these stops you are required to stop your car and allow officers to speak with you and interview you to determine whether or not you are sober, there are some important things to remember if you find yourself at one of these checkpoints.
First, police officers are not allowed to search your car without probable cause. In other words, they cannot search your car unless they find evidence of an open container of alcohol, firearm, or other concerning item that would lead them to believe you are breaking the law. If they ask to search your vehicle, you can politely decline.
Second, you are not required to take the breathalyzer test or engage in roadside field sobriety tests. However, there may be penalties (such as losing your license) if you have fail to perform these tests. Therefore if you do take these tests, you want to be sure that you do not have any alcohol in your system.
If you do find yourself arrested for OUI or DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. Nowadays, being arrested for DUI or OUI in the state of Massachusetts carries stiff penalties. By getting legal representation immediately with an experienced DUI attorney, you are increasing your chances of a fair and successful process.