A DUI checkpoint, also known as a sobriety checkpoint, is a police roadblock that is usually set up at congested areas and during busy times, such as New Years Eve. The purpose is to catch drivers who are driving under the influence, and protect the public by keeping drunk drivers off the roads.
Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Florida?
Checkpoints are illegal in 11 of the 50 United States because they are said to challenge your Fourth Amendment rights, which states that a citizen is protected against searches that are unwarranted. Unfortunately, Florida is not one of those 11 states, DUI checkpoints are legal in Florida.
The U.S Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checks are legal, declaring that protecting against drunk driving incidents is more important than the intrusion on a citizen’s rights. Also, a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that these checkpoints have reduced DUI crashes by about 20%, so there is no denying their effectiveness.
At a DUI checkpoint, an officer will typically ask to see your license, registration, and proof of insurance. They will also ask you questions and attempt to assess your sobriety. Drivers suspected of being impaired will be asked to perform sobriety tests.
Florida DUI Checkpoint Refusal Laws
If you are stopped at a Florida DUI checkpoint, you should show your identification when asked. If you are asked to take a breathalyzer test, you have the option to refuse and request an attorney, but know that your refusal will most likely result in your arrest. You will then be required, by law, to submit a blood alcohol test at the police station to determine if your blood alcohol content level is higher than .08%. If you refuse to take either the breathalyzer or blood test, your license will be suspended for one year.
In addition, Florida added “no refusal” checkpoints in some areas. If a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test after being stopped, the police are allowed to immediately take a blood sample. This is possible because a judge is stationed with the officers and can issue a warrant for a blood test right on the spot.
If you are being charged with a DUI in Florida, be aware that these charges are very serious. It is in your best interests to speak with a DUI attorney immediately. Setup your free consultation with a LMW attorney. You don’t want, or need, a drunk driving charge on your record, contact us today.