If you’re new to Florida, now is a good time to learn about the different DUI laws and regulations in the state. One of the things that may differ from where you come from is the legality of DUI checkpoints.
Florida does use DUI checkpoints to stop drunk or impaired drivers. The authorities may use DUI checkpoints several times throughout each month, too, meaning that they’re not just reserved for holidays or special times of the year.
However, when these checkpoints are used, officers do have to follow specific rules and regulations to keep everything legal.
Understanding DUI checkpoints
DUI checkpoints are also called sobriety checkpoints. They’re used to determine if drivers coming through a particular area are impaired or intoxicated and to get them off the roads if so.
At a DUI checkpoint, the officer may ask you to roll down your window and speak with you. If they believe that you smell of alcohol or are showing signs of being impaired, they can detain you temporarily. They will inspect your vehicle from if so, looking for drug paraphernalia or open containers that are easy to see.
You won’t be arrested without probable cause, which means that if you pass a Breathalyzer test and have no real signs of drug or alcohol use, you’re likely to drive away.
Do you have to be informed about DUI checkpoints?
Generally, all checkpoints have to be announced ahead of time. They should be in the newspaper or reported on the radio, for example. You should also see warnings before the checkpoints, so you have an opportunity to take another route if you’d like to.
Do you have to give any details to the officers at a DUI checkpoint?
If you’re stopped at the DUI checkpoint, you will need to give your identification, but you aren’t required to say or do anything else. If the officer accuses you of drunk or impaired driving, you do need to take steps to defend yourself at that point. To do so, you may want to look deeper into your legal rights and speak with your attorney before you’re interviewed by the police.