Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Florida?

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | April 22, 2024
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It’s common to wonder if DUI checkpoints are legal in Florida. In many states, they are not. However, in Florida, DUI checkpoints are permitted by law. The purpose of these checkpoints is to help reduce the occurrence of drunk driving.

Even if you haven’t been drinking, getting caught at a DUI checkpoint can be an intimidating situation. You can prevent an arrest by understanding your rights at DUI checkpoints in Florida. If you have been arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, contact a DUI lawyer. At Patrick McLain Law, we have experience in defending DUI cases. This informative article can help you understand DUI checkpoint regulations in Florida and what you should do if you are arrested.

Florida DUI Checkpoint Laws

At DUI checkpoints in Florida, law enforcement must abide by certain rules. These include limiting stops to only three minutes to prevent impeding traffic. They must also predetermine the rules for pulling over the vehicles at a DUI checkpoint. They aren’t allowed to make things up on the fly. 

Additionally, all scheduled DUI checkpoints in Florida must be publicly posted with the date and location. Motorists can then decide to avoid the checkpoint area based on these notifications.

Your Rights at DUI Checkpoints in Florida

You should fully understand your rights at DUI checkpoints in Florida. Florida DUI checkpoint laws allow you to turn around to avoid the checkpoint, though only if you can legally make this traffic maneuver. If you make a U-turn where it is not permitted for example, then you may be pulled over by officers monitoring the area.

Some vehicles will simply be waved through at a checkpoint while others will be stopped. If you are one of the vehicles that is stopped, the officer will ask to see your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. They may ask some questions about where you’re coming from or where you are going, but you are not legally obligated to answer these questions. 

You should remain cordial throughout the interactions. You can decline to answer these questions and state that you do not wish to answer them without having your attorney present. 

Are There Consequences for Refusing DUI Tests in Florida?

If the officers at the checkpoint suspect you to be driving under the influence, they may ask you to take field sobriety tests. You are within your rights to refuse to take these tests, especially if you are completely sober. Many people lack balance and coordination and cannot perform these tests under ideal conditions.

If an officer has probable cause, they will ask you to take a breath or blood alcohol test. Due to Florida’s implied consent law, you are already obligated to give your consent to these tests under suspicions of DUI. Unfortunately, you may face a misdemeanor offense and the suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months if it’s your first refusal or 18 months for previously refusing these tests.

Consulting an Experienced DUI Attorney in Florida

If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Florida, consult a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. They will help build a strong defense in your case, depending on the factors of your arrest. 

Some people make mistakes at Florida DUI checkpoints because they do not know their rights. If you were completely sober or the officer at the checkpoint violated your rights, you can fight these charges. Contact Patrick McLain Law to discuss your DUI case and protect your freedom from the legal and personal consequences of a DUI. 

Category: DUI