Missouri DWI checkpoints: What you should never do

DWI checkpoints have been a point of contention in Missouri for many years. For the second straight year in a row, the state has lost funding for such checkpoints. However, they still pop up, and you need to prepare for them. 

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense. A single arrest and conviction are enough to impact what kind of jobs you can get in the future. People, both those sober and under the influence, make mistakes at these checkpoints, and you should avoid doing the following at all costs. 

Drive away before you have permission

Many drivers see a checkpoint coming up ahead. They then make a U-turn, often illegally, to avoid it. There are typically officers waiting to catch drivers who try this. Additionally, when you are at the checkpoint, you do not want to drive off until the officer has permitted you to do so. Most of the time, officers will only want to talk to you for less than a minute, so avoid driving off prematurely. 

Consent to a police search

Police officers only have a right to search your vehicle if the evidence suggests a crime has taken place. For example, if an officer sees an empty beer bottle in the passenger seat, then he could search your car without a warrant. However, if no evidence exists, then an officer cannot do anything. When you grant permission, any evidence the police uncover is valid in court. 

Admit to drinking any alcohol

Officers will often ask, "Did you have anything to drink this evening?" When you had nothing to drink, you can say so. However, plenty of people out there fail to see the harm in saying, "I only had one beer." While one beer may not be enough to put you over the 0.08 percent limit, it can make the officer suspicious. You should never say you drank anything. At most, you should merely say, "I do not wish to respond to that." 

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