“Driver beware: DUI Checkpoint ahead”

As outlined in previous posts to this blog, DUI checkpoints remain a commonly used and effective way for the police to stop you and investigate DUI allegations. For instance, the LVMPD has just announced that they will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint between 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 through 3 A.M. on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

While the general public may not be aware that within the last six (6) months, the intersection of Rampart and Charleston has had 87 traffic incidents and two fatal accidents. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department took note of that and will be having a sobriety checkpoint at that intersection as outlined above.

A driving under the influence checkpoint or roadblock involves the stopping of all vehicles traveling on a street or highway. A police officer, or many police officers, may be seen signaling for cars to pull over to the side of the road or being stopped in the middle of the road. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department usually conducts check points during the hours of 6 P.M. – 2 A.M. on a given date, quite often a holiday or time when it is believed impaired driving will be prevalent.  Typically, police checkpoints in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Law Vegas or the surrounding communities will occur on busy, well-traveled streets.  Law enforcement will keep records on checkpoints and previous checkpoints done by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department have resulted in as many as 1,500 plus vehicles passing through such a road block.  For example, on Super Bowl Sunday 2015, 1,523 vehicles passed through the pre noticed LVMPD checkpoint.  Each year, DUI checkpoints account for hundreds of arrests for allegation of Driving Under the Influence in the Las Vegas Valley.

At a DUI check point, your vehicle will be stopped. The officer will ask you the typical questions and ask to see your driver’s license, insurance and registration.  They may also ask you where you are coming from and going to.  They will ask you if you have been drinking.  While you should always be polite and respectful of law enforcement and should identify yourself, you do have the right to refuse to answer any other questions.  Of note, it is almost never in your best interest to admit to drinking before driving.  If the officer suspects that you are intoxicated, you may ask you to step out of your vehicle.  You may be asked to perform field sobriety tests.  The officer will then make a probable cause determination about whether he or she believes you are impaired.  This determination is mostly subjective and determined by the officers opinions.  This officer’s observations and opinions are not legally determinative of whether you will be convicted of the crime of DUI.  Rather, the officer is simply looking for the legal standard of probable cause to arrest you.  If you are arrested it is almost always in a person’s best interest to say nothing, politely ask for your right to a lawyer and remain silent until you have that opportunity.

Driving under the influence in Nevada brings consequences both criminally and through the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”).  DUI convictions are enhanceable and the repercussions and consequences increase with subsequent infractions.

If you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint or arrested for a DUI in Las Vegas, call an experienced Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney right away.  At the law firm of Hofland & Tomsheck, we have handled countless cases such as these.   While each case is different, we fight to get the charges against you drastically reduced or dismissed altogether.  Attorney Josh Tomsheck is a Nationally Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney who has been recognized by the Nevada State Bar as a Specialist in Criminal Trial law.  We look forward to helping you put these unfortunate situations behind you and helping you get back to your life.  Contact us today.