DUI/DWI checkpoints in Calgary are legal. Police officers typically set up these checkpoints during long weekends, over holidays, and sometimes just arbitrarily.
If you are pulled over at one of these checkpoints, the first thing you should do is remain calm. You should also contact your lawyer as soon as possible and refrain from saying anything without having your lawyer present. If you are facing DUI/DWI charges, the Calgary criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence can assist you with your case. Our knowledgeable legal team can represent you at every stage of your criminal legal proceedings and work to protect your rights from the beginning of your case up through trial.
What Happens During a DUI/DWI Checkpoint Stop?
During a typical checkpoint stop, drivers will pull up, and a police officer will request to see the driver’s licence, registration, and insurance information. Once the officer completes his or her check and determines that there are no infractions, the motorist can then drive away freely. Some police officers, however, ask about much more than driver’s licence and insurance information. They may ask about what, if anything, the driver had to drink that evening and how much the driver had to drink. The officer may even ask what the driver has in the car or may ask the driver to open the car trunk—or some other container inside the car, such as the glove compartment. Obviously, police ask the majority of these questions to find out if the driver has an illegal weapon, drugs, or stolen property inside the vehicle with him or her.
Your Legal Rights During a Checkpoint Stop
When police stop you at a DUI/DWI checkpoint and you know that you have been drinking, you should say as little as possible. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, you are only required to state your name and address—and the same for the individual who owns the vehicle. Even if the police decide to arrest you and then begin to search your vehicle incident to the arrest, you are still not required to say anything. If the police have not yet made an arrest, but they are asking you questions—or demanding that you perform certain tasks—you do not need to respond to those questions (except for providing your insurance information and your driver’s licence). Although police officers do have the right to stop your vehicle, ask questions, and peek through the windows, you have the right to contact a lawyer immediately and to remain silent. Unless the police have (or develop) grounds to suspect that a crime was committed at a roadblock, they should only be checking for the following:
- Licence and insurance information
- Vehicle Ownership
- Mechanical issues with the vehicle
Contact a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer About Your DUI/DWI Case
If you believe that authorities violated your rights at a Calgary DUI/DWI checkpoint stop, the lawyers at Bourdon Defence may be able to assist. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a knowledgeable Calgary DUI/DWI defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143, or contact us online.