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Can you be fined for warning other drivers of a DUI checkpoint?

| Jun 25, 2014 | Drunk Driving |

It’s an interesting question, but the answer may be a contentious one. Many police departments around the country set up roadblock checkpoints that force drivers to stop and be checked for various violations, among them expired registrations, driving without a license and DUI. The legality of these checkpoints is a hotly debated topic.

Some feel it violates the Fourth Amendment which guards against unreasonable search and seizure. Normally, police must have a reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence to pull you over for that offense. Roadblocks, however, allow law enforcement to stop any car they want.

Proponents say that it’s necessary to give up some liberties to remain safe. One Ohio man disagreed vehemently with this and decided to make his opinion known. He stood a little way down the road from one of these checkpoints and held up a sign warning drivers to turn around before they get to the stop.

Authorities didn’t take kindly to the man’s advice and ticketed him for obstructing official business. Police checkpoints, by law, must be announced to the public at least a week prior to the set up and, in addition, officials must again remind drivers of the start times, end times and exact location of the blitz. When viewed in this light, the man’s sign didn’t convey information that was not already publicly available.

It will be interesting to see how the citation plays itself out — will he fight it and spark a civil liberties debate? Only time will tell.

If you’re facing DUI charges, know that a charge does not equal a conviction. You still have rights and a Florida attorney can explain them to you and may be able to help you mount a defense.

Source: palmbeachpost.com, “Man ticketed for giving heads up on DUI checkpoint,” Christine Slusser, June 18, 2014

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