Actor Vince Vaughn was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint early in the morning of June 10 between Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach in California. According to Manhattan Beach law enforcement and CNN, Vaughn was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence as well as resisting, delaying or obstructing officers. His unidentified male passenger was also arrested for public intoxication and obstructing officers. Despite the charges, there was no physical force used by officers. Vaughn was booked around 4 a.m. on a misdemeanor charge with $5,000 bail. He was later released.

What we can learn from this

Since sobriety checkpoints are sometimes used here in Massachusetts, particularly during the summer holidays, there are some lessons that can be taken from this story, including:

  • The checkpoint was announced ahead of time: Manhattan Beach police announced the zero tolerance checkpoint ahead of time. While this is often done on holidays to discourage drivers from drinking, it can happen at other times as well. Vaughn obviously was unaware of the checkpoint, but it never hurts to pay attention to announcements from law enforcement.
  • Resisting or obstructing officers is a bad idea: Vaughn and his passenger did not get violent (which would have been a huge mistake), but they did at first refuse to get out of the car or cooperate with officers. If you are stopped at a roadblock, it’s best to be courteous and accommodating without volunteering information or saying something incriminating.
  • Vaughn did not try to turn around: Officers at the checkpoint are looking for erratic driving or behavior. The actor did not try to turn around or go around the roadblock, which would have added additional red flags.
  • Vaughn chose a blood test: There is no word at this time about the results for actor’s blood alcohol level test, but blood tests are generally more accurate than Breathalyzer tests. Perhaps the actor believes he will be cleared with a more accurate reading.

Getting pulled over does not mean you are guilty

Each case is different, but getting stopped on suspicion of OUI does not automatically mean guilt and a conviction. Staying calm to avoid mistakes is a good first step. It can also be helpful to speak with an attorney with experience in criminal defense and OUIs here in Massachusetts.