During the holidays, sober and safe driving is extra important. If you are planning to indulge in some champagne on New Years, we encourage you to use an Uber of Lyft. Sometimes it will cost you less than parking downtown, and there is insurance that will protect you in the event of an accident. If you opt to drive yourself, you may come upon a police checkpoint. Here is how we suggest you handle these:
First, stay calm and courteous.
Can you refuse to stop? No. If an officer stops your vehicle at a legal checkpoint, you must comply and stop your vehicle. Running through the checkpoint could result in serious penalties and great danger.
Can you turn around to avoid the checkpoint? If police see you evading the checkpoint, they can pursue your vehicle and stop you. This could possibly lead to additional charges.
Can the officer search my vehicle? No. Unless certain circumstances exist, police cannot search you or your vehicle unless they have probable cause to do so, or you give them verbal consent. YOU DO NOT NEED TO GIVE THEM CONSENT TO SEARCH YOUR CAR.
Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test? No.
Do I have to give information? Yes. You may need to provide the officer your license, registration, proof of insurance.
Do I have to answer questions about whether I have been drinking? No. You have the right to refuse these types of questions because you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself.
Do I have to submit to a breathalyzer test? No. However, Failure to take the test violates Louisiana’s Implied Consent rule and will result in an automatic license suspension.
Of course, the best way to avoid worry is to avoid getting behind the wheel if you cannot drive. Take an #uber or #lyft. Stay safe this NYE!
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.