The holidays are full of snow and cozy cheer in Vermont. DUI enforcement is also enhanced during the holiday season.
Vermont, like many states, devotes extra resources to DUI enforcement during the holiday season. DUI checkpoints are permitted in Vermont and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program provides grants to local law enforcement to increase DUI saturation patrols. The Vermont State Police website releases information about some upcoming DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols here. Local law enforcement or county Sheriffs sometimes provide public press releases for scheduled DUI checkpoints and traffic enforcement saturation patrols on their Facebook pages, websites or through other publications.
If you are stopped in a DUI roadblock or safety checkpoint in Vermont it is important to remain calm and respectful throughout the encounter. Vermont law enforcement must compile “clues” or indicia of intoxication that add up, legally speaking, to reasonable suspicion of DUI to justify an exit order. Typically, these clues are based on the officer’s observations of your behavior during their interaction with you. For instance, if the officer requests your license and registration and it takes you a long time to produce it or you fumble the documents, they could note those actions as “clues” supporting a conclusion that you were impaired. Additionally, police look for slurred, mumbled or confused speech; bloodshot or watery eyes; odor of intoxicants and whether or not you admitted to consuming alcohol or drugs when they ask you.
If you are requested to exit your vehicle by Vermont police, you must do so. You may, however, refuse any standard field sobriety testing and may refuse to submit to a roadside preliminary breath test (PBT). Knowing your rights and firmly, but respectfully, asserting them is ideal.
At Burke Law, our experienced Vermont DUI defense attorneys are on call throughout the holiday season (including on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Eve). We can help you understand your options and develop the most effective defense strategy for your case.