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What To Expect When Pulled Into A DUI Checkpoint In California

Okabe & Haushalter Aug 2, 2018 DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a common crime that occurs all over California, especially in large cities like Los Angeles. Law enforcement agencies all across the state do their part to curb this crime but there are still people who make the wrong decisions. You might be one of those people at some point in your lifetime. Mistakes happen. You need to know how to fight the consequences that come with those mistakes. Our DUI defense attorney in Los Angeles wants to share the following information about what you should expect when pulled into a DUI checkpoint in California.

What Does the Law Allow?

Before delving into a DUI checkpoint we have to take a look at what the law allows. In the state of California DUI checkpoints are legal. More than 2,500 occur every year throughout the state. These checkpoints are legally based on state law and at the federal level under the United States Constitution.

How to Handle Yourself in a Checkpoint

When you are driving on a Los Angeles highway or back road you very well could come across a DUI checkpoint. Here are some important tips for handling yourself in the checkpoint so you don’t make matters worse:

  • Do not turn around and leave the area. This could cause the police to suspect something is wrong.
  • Obey all of the instructions given by the police officer who approaches your vehicle.
  • Provide the officer with your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration.
  • Exit the car only if the officer instructs you to do so.
  • Turn off the car if instructed to do so.
  • Submit to field sobriety tests if the officer has reason to believe that you are intoxicated.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests will be administered at a DUI checkpoint if you show any signs of inebriation to the officer. These signs could include slurred speech, inconsistencies in your story, flush skin, red eyes and the odor of alcohol coming from your breath or the car.

One-Leg Stand

You might be asked to stand on one leg during a DUI checkpoint. This will test your ability to balance on just one leg for a period of 10 to 15 seconds. If you cannot hold your balance the officer will administer a subsequent field sobriety test to further determine your inebriation.


The next test that you could face is known as the walk-and-turn. The officer will instruct you to walk on a straight line putting one foot in front of the other on that imaginary line. The officer will monitor how well you follow instructions and if you are able to handle this test without falling down or struggling to balance.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

This is what is known as the eye test. The officer will instruct you to follow either their finger, pen, or flashlight with only your eyes. You cannot move your entire head to follow the moving object. This should be easy for sober people to complete.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been pulled into a DUI checkpoint and subsequently arrested and charged with DUI you need a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney by your side. Contact the team at Okabe & Haushalter today to schedule a consultation.