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Drunk driving: Know your rights regarding DUI checkpoints

Summer is quickly approaching, and you know what that means -- more DUI checkpoints are on the way. In Pennsylvania, these checkpoints to check for drunk driving are legal and are commonly seen over the summer, as there seems to be a connection between warmer weather, summer holidays and driving while impaired. While the intention behind these checkpoints is good, they can result in arrests that are not warranted.

Getting stopped at a DUI checkpoint can be a bit unnerving. You may not know what to expect or what your rights are. This column will address what state laws have to say about these checkpoints.

First, authorities are required to announce when and where checkpoints will be located. Second, these checkpoints cannot be placed in random areas; they have to be in locations that have documented problems with inebriated drivers. Third, when stopped at a checkpoint, an officer's investigation cannot take any longer than necessary. Finally, if you find yourself coming up on a checkpoint, you have the right to turn around. Police cannot come after you for safely removing yourself from the line and finding another route.

If you end up being arrested at a DUI checkpoint, this does not mean that you will be convicted of drunk driving. It is an accusation, that is all. You may be able to fight the charges filed against you. An experienced Pennsylvania-based criminal defense attorney can help you strive to do just that. To learn how, please take a moment and visit our firm's website.

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