If you operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, you will be charged with driving while under the influence (DUI). The consequences of such an offense can last a lifetime, as you could be subject to hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time. At the same time, most people don’t argue that keeping drunk drivers off the roadways is essential. It’s also necessary to ensure your rights are protected. In some states, DUI checkpoints are allowed and utilized by law enforcement to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Please continue reading to learn whether sobriety checkpoints are legal in Florida and how a determined Pensacola DUI Defense Lawyer can fight for you today.
What are your rights at a sobriety checkpoint?
In Florida, sobriety checkpoints are legal. However, there are limits. Law enforcement officers must adhere to specific protocols while conducting their checkpoints. You will face severe consequences if you don’t stop your vehicle and pull over when ordered. They are required to complete the DUI checkpoint reasonably, stopping drivers randomly and fairly. They also have to follow the “three-minute” rule, which means they cannot detain motorists for longer than three minutes.
When you’re pulled over for a DUI checkpoint, the police officer will ask you questions and observe your behavior to determine if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You will be asked to provide your license, proof of insurance, and registration like any regular traffic stop. It’s importnat to remain polite and respectful during a DUI checkpoint. However, you’re not legally required to respond to the questions posed as you can invoke your Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. Nevertheless, remember there’s a difference between remaining silent and being non-compliant.
Can you turn around to avoid a DUI checkpoint?
You can avoid a checkpoint as long as you make a legal maneuver. If it’s unsafe, meaning you make an illegal U-turn, the police will have probable cause to stop you. If this occurs while you’re intoxicated, you will face charges for DUI.
Any top by the police can be frightening. However, understanding your rights during a DUI checkpoint can help you achieve the best possible outcome. If you’ve been charged with DUI following a sobriety checkpoint, it’s in your best interest to retain quality legal counsel as soon as possible to protect your rights. At The Law Office of James M. Burns, we are prepared to represent your interests to safeguard you from an uncertain future. Contact us today to discuss your legal needs.