Despite the obvious implications OUI checkpoints have in terms of a complete disregard for the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, they are, nonetheless allowed in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Until the Supreme Court re-evaluates its stand that checkpoints can be viewed as an undesirable but necessary public tool for combatting DUI incidents, they will remain in place. The smart thing to do is to understand what you should not do at an OUI checkpoint in Massachusetts.
1. Do not say things that may be incriminating.
This is your Constitutional right. So, don’t say, for example “I’ve only had a beer.” Or “I only smoked a little weed earlier today.”
The officer won’t care, he won’t believe you and he won’t take mercy.
He or she will only use what you say against you as probable cause for an arrest.
You may also try the ziplock bag method if you have nerves of steel – because know this: the police will exert a lot of pressure on you to comply.
Be consistent! “I don’t answer questions.” And then: “Am I free to go?”
2. Do not be belligerent or rude when refusing.
If you are flagged and ordered to the investigative area, you’ll first be asked to step out of the car for field sobriety tests.
You may refuse these tests and any other pre-arrest tests without consequence.
If the officer flagged you for an OUI investigation, he’s likely made up his mind that he has probable cause for an arrest.
Your refusals won’t ensure or compound your impending arrest —unless you are combative or aggressive.
Firmly yet politely refusing to answer questions or take sobriety tests only protects you from giving the state evidence to pursue your conviction.
3. Do not consent to any searches.
If the officer believes there is something suspicious going on, he will perform a search with or without your consent.
Make it the latter. Even if you are being arrested, so long as you state “I do not consent to any searches,” your defense attorney may be able to use this as a point of law.
4. Don’t make any illegal turns to avoid entering the checkpoint.
While you have the right to avoid the checkpoint area by a good distance before any cone markers, if you do, you might be seen by police who may want to ‘chase’ you down.
This chase-down can happen even if you didn’t violate a traffic law to avoid the checkpoint because officers will assume you avoided due to guilt.
Remain calm and follow all tips to the best of your ability.
5. Do not assume your checkpoint OUI is open-and-shut.
Stay positive and contact the best OUI defense attorney you can find that has experience in defending OUI checkpoint cases.
Schedule a consultation to explore your various defense options along with researching the sucess rates of other cases similar to yours.
Refer to this pdf to see how Attorney Oberhauser was able to get a Motion to Supress for a client that was arrested on a police hunch that he was avoiding a roadblock.
If you’ve been arrested for OUI contact Oberhauser Law to schedule a consultation with Defense Attorney Gregory Oberhauser.