Consequences of Fleeing a DUI Checkpoint

In North Carolina, fleeing a DUI checkpoint or any attempt to avoid it, such as driving around the checkpoint, making an abrupt turn before reaching it, or driving through without stopping when officers signal you to pull over, can lead to serious legal consequences.

Let’s take a look at what consequences you may face if you try to evade a checkpoint and, as any DUI defense lawyer in Asheville will tell you, why it’s a bad idea to even think about fleeing.

The Legal Consequences of Evading a DUI Checkpoint

Fleeing a DUI checkpoint in North Carolina is never a good idea and will only make your situation much worse. You may think you’re avoiding getting caught for drunk driving, but in reality, you’re facing serious criminal charges for evading law enforcement.

Criminal Charges

Evading a DUI checkpoint is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. This means you could face up to 120 days in jail and fines up to $1,000. The judge also has the discretion to suspend your driver’s license for up to one year.

Increased Penalties for Repeat Offenders

If you have prior DUI convictions or a history of evading police, the penalties for fleeing a checkpoint will be much harsher. You could face jail time of up to 12 months and fines of up to $3,000. The court will likely suspend your license for at least a year, if not revoke it altogether.

Damaged Driving Record

In addition to legal penalties, fleeing a DUI checkpoint will damage your driving record. The violation will remain on your record for at least 3 to 5 years, affecting your auto insurance rates and eligibility. This damage to your record and a license suspension can make it very difficult and expensive to legally drive again.

License Suspension

If you flee a DUI checkpoint in North Carolina, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for one year. Getting your license back means paying a restoration fee and providing proof of insurance. The suspension will also show up on your driving record and may increase your auto insurance rates for up to 5 years.

it is never a good idea to run away from the police

Vehicle Impoundment

Refusing to stop at a DUI checkpoint gives law enforcement the right to impound your vehicle. You’ll have to pay towing and storage fees to get it back, which often total $500 or more. After 30 days, the police can petition the court to have it forfeited, allowing them to sell your car at auction.

Bench Warrant

When fleeing a DUI checkpoint, you disobey the lawful order of a police officer. This can result in a bench warrant for your arrest on charges of resisting, obstructing or evading a law enforcement officer. The next time you have contact with police, you’ll likely be taken into custody on an open warrant.

Possible Felony Charges

In some cases, fleeing a DUI checkpoint aggressively by driving recklessly or at high speed can be charged as a felony offense. Felony evading police or aggravated assault on an officer can lead to years of jail time, major fines, and a lifelong criminal record. It’s never worth the risk to flee – pulling over is always the wisest choice.

Defenses Against Fleeing a DUI Checkpoint Charges

If you’ve been charged with fleeing a DUI checkpoint in North Carolina, don’t panic. There are a few defenses you can raise to fight the charges. DUI checkpoints have to follow specific rules to be legal. If the police didn’t follow proper procedure, the checkpoint itself may have been illegal.

Emergencies can happen at any time, even when passing through a DUI checkpoint. If you fled the checkpoint because of an emergency like a medical issue, vehicle malfunction, or family crisis, that may serve as a viable defense.

For a traffic stop to be legal, police officers need reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed an offense or traffic violation. Merely going through a DUI checkpoint doesn’t provide reasonable suspicion on its own.

Reach Out to an Asheville DUI Defense Attorney for Guidance

If you’ve been charged with fleeing a DUI checkpoint in North Carolina, it’s critical to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. At Asheville DUI Guy, our legal team has helped many drivers in Western North Carolina defend against such charges, and we are committed to providing the strong, strategic defense you need.

Call us today at 828-759-5556 for a free case review!

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