It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student out for the evening or a parent on your way home from dinner, there’s always a possibility you could find yourself face-to-face with a DUI checkpoint.
As scared as you may be, knowledge of DUI checkpoints can go a long way in helping you take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights (and hopefully avoid an arrest).
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- DUI checkpoints are legal in Florida: This isn’t true in all states, but it is in Florida. So, before you tell the officer they are violating the law, think twice. Speaking up in this regard only gives the officer more reason to think you’re under the influence of alcohol. Also, you are not permitted to drive through a checkpoint without stopping. Follow the prompts provided by the officer.
- You don’t have to drive through a DUI checkpoint: If you spot a checkpoint ahead, you’re permitted by law to avoid it. They key here is that you can’t do so by violating the law, such as making an illegal U-turn.
- You don’t have to say too much: In fact, if you don’t want to say anything, you can take that approach, too. The fifth amendment protects your right to remain silent. While it’s okay to decline to answer some questions, you shouldn’t ignore the officer entirely. Also, when asked for license and registration, make sure you provide it.
- There are regulations: In other words, police can’t do whatever they want when setting up and running a DUI checkpoint. They’re required by law to take a reasonable approach, while also remaining fair at all times.
It’s this type of knowledge that can help prevent trouble at a DUI checkpoint, thus allowing you to move on with your day without a run-in.
Should you be put under arrest at a checkpoint, such as for suspicion of DUI, don’t say too much. Also, keep track of the steps the arresting officer takes, as any mistake could help your case in the future.
Once you’re processed and released, turn your attention to the legal process, your DUI defense strategy and other steps you can take to protect your legal rights.