At Least in the U.S., You Can Just Turn Around to Avoid DUI CheckpointsLet’s set the scene: you’re at a party. You’ve had a couple of drinks. You’re pretty sure you’re fine to drive, and you only live, like, 5 blocks away – so you’re gonna risk it. You make it one block and see a DUI checkpoint up ahead.

Do you:

  1. Look for a safe, legal space to turn around to avoid the checkpoint.
  2. Park the car in a legal space before reaching the checkpoint, and then walk home.
  3. Throw yourself off a bridge to avoid being ticketed by police.

If you picked “C,” man – have I got a bridge for you. It just happens to be in China.

From Shanghaiist:

“[A] man was driving down an expressway in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province when he saw police stopping cars ahead of him for a sobriety test. Apparently hoping to avoid getting into trouble with the law, the man abandoned his van on the side of an exit, dashed across the highway, and hopped over the median, attempting to find a way out of this predicament. After failing to catch a cab, the man decided that the only thing to do was to jump down from the overpass.”

Also, he wasn’t drunk.

In China, apparently, a very low BAC can get your license revoked, and this man was afraid he might have residual alcohol in his system from partying the night before. So, he threw himself off an overpass and ended up breaking his leg – but he didn’t get a DUI, so I guess that’s a nice ending for everyone.

Can I really drive away from a checkpoint?

If you can do so legally? Then yes.

Once you’re in that little cattle shoot they create with the orange cones, you’re stuck: but if you can find a place to make a legal turn and get yourself out of there, then go for it.

What about field sobriety tests?

You can refuse them, too. But you’re going to lose your license if you do, just like you’ll lose it if you refuse a breath test.

I’m confused. So I should skip the tests?

It works like this: when you get pulled over for a DUI, there are two different entities who can penalize you: the law enforcement agency who issued the stop, and the MVA. If you refuse the breath test, you might beat a DUI charge because the cops could have a harder time proving you were drunk. So, unless you were driving into cones or smell like a distillery, you still have a chance.

But it’s different for the MVA, because of something called implied consent. It’s basically like the terms and agreements no one reads; by accepting a driver’s license, you’re giving consent to be tested for drunk driving. If you refuse, the MVA can yank your license anyway, for failure to comply with the rules.

No matter what you decide to do, though, you’re probably facing the loss of your license – and that’s why you need someone like me on your side. I’ve been a DUI defense lawyer in Annapolis for 20 years, and I’ve represented lots of people at MVA hearings. I can help guide you if you’re facing a DUI. Call 410-777-8103 or fill out this contact form to schedule your consultation at my law firm – Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law – today.

Just Remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew