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What to Do at a Florida DUI Checkpoint

On weekends and holidays, law enforcement officials set up DUI checkpoints—also known as sobriety checkpoints—in order to arrest suspected drunk drivers and keep the roads safe. Although these checkpoints are not legal in all states, they are in Florida.

During a sobriety checkpoint, motorists are briefly detained and interviewed by the police to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is intoxicated, he/she will ask the driver to perform field sobriety tests and subsequently make an arrest after establishing probable cause.

Remember, law enforcement must pull vehicles according to a specific pattern (i.e. every third or fourth vehicle). They are not allowed to target specific drivers or vehicles.

Although you can avoid a checkpoint by turning around and driving the other direction, making an illegal turn can result in getting pulled over by authorities. Additionally, even if you made a lawful turn away from a checkpoint, it is not uncommon for the police to send a “chase car” to track you down.

The following are several steps to take when going through a DUI checkpoint in Florida:

  • Be polite and cooperate – If you are asked to stop, roll down your window and hand over your driver’s license and registration.
  • Do not admit to drinking – If the officer asks you if you have been drinking alcohol and you haven’t, simply say you haven’t been drinking at all. On the other hand, if you have been drinking, do not admit to having one drink or that you stopped drinking a few hours ago.
  • Do not consent to a search – If the officer asks if he/she could search your vehicle, politely decline.
  • Do not consent to a field sobriety test – In many states, including Florida, you have the right to decline to take a field sobriety test. Even a sober person could fail these tests because they are subjective in nature. If the officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, politely tell him/her no and inform him/her your lawyer advised you not to perform the test.

If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Miami, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. today at (305) 670-9919 and schedule a free case review to let our legal team protect your rights and freedom.

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