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DUI checkpoints are fixed locations in the city of Orlando where police officers stop and check all drivers for sobriety. Anyone found to be driving under the influence can face a variety of consequences, from modest to severe. These checkpoints aim to make the city a safer place to live and drive by clearing the streets of intoxicated drivers. They are usually manned later in the evening and during holidays—anywhere from 8 pm until 4 am, but they may be encountered at any hour on any day.

Orlando DUI checkpoints are a welcome strategy to help keep our streets safe, but it is important that a citizen stopped at a DUI checkpoint understand his or her rights and respond appropriately. Even the most sober, poised, and prudent driver may be unsettled when stopped and questioned by an officer of the law in the dead of night. That’s why it’s important to understand the process and your rights under the law so that you can cooperate fully without compromising your legal rights.

What a Driver Can Expect at a DUI Checkpoint in Orlando

It is the duty of the police officer manning the DUI checkpoint to judge whether or not a driver is impaired. If he or she suspects that the driver has a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, the officer may question the driver at length, ask that he or she submit to a breathalyzer test, or subject the motorist to field sobriety exercises. If you find yourself facing such an interrogation, remember:

  • If questioned, you are allowed to assert your 5th Amendment rights. Simply say, “I do not wish to answer that question.”
  • Under those rights, you may also decline a breathalyzer test.
  • If you do not answer any questions and do not consent to a breathalyzer, it is likely that the officer will ask you to step out of the vehicle and complete field sobriety exercises. These simple tests may include walking in a straight line, pivoting on your foot, standing on one foot for 30 seconds, and/or following a light with your eyes.

Even if these field sobriety tests have been inconclusive and you have not consented to anything that could be considered evidence of intoxication, the police officer may still feel you are impaired and take you into custody.

Legal Basis and Operation of DUI Checkpoints in Orlando

DUI checkpoints in Orlando are set up based on a legal framework that ensures they operate within the boundaries of the law. These checkpoints must adhere to specific criteria regarding their location, timing, and manner of operation. The Supreme Court has ruled that while DUI checkpoints do infringe upon an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights, they are permissible under certain guidelines for the greater public good.

Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint

At a DUI checkpoint, you have the right to remain silent and to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. You also have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, though this may result in automatic penalties under Florida’s implied consent laws. It’s essential to be aware of these rights and the possible consequences of exercising them.

Navigating a DUI checkpoint requires a balance of cooperation and assertion of rights. Drivers should be prepared to show their driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. However, they are not obligated to answer incriminating questions or participate in sobriety testing without a warrant.

Challenging DUI Checkpoint Arrests

If you’re arrested at a DUI checkpoint, there are several ways to challenge the arrest. This can include questioning the legality of the checkpoint itself or the manner in which the police conducted the stop and tests.

Understanding the Role of Breathalyzer and Field Sobriety Tests

Breathalyzer and field sobriety tests are common tools used at DUI checkpoints. However, their results are not always definitive and can be contested. Factors like the calibration of the device or the proper administration of field tests can be scrutinized.

How Will an Orlando DUI Checkpoint Attorney Help Me

A DUI conviction in Orlando can have far-reaching effects, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. It can also impact your employment and insurance rates.

When preparing for a consultation with a DUI attorney, it’s important to bring all relevant information about your encounter at the checkpoint. This includes any documentation provided by the police, details of the stop, and any observations you made about the checkpoint’s operation.

Contact Our Orlando DUI Checkpoint Law Firm After Your Drunk Driving Arrest

An arrest does not always lead to a DUI conviction and a mark on your record. If a prosecutor deems you non-compliant or a likely threat to re-offend, you may face more draconian consequences, from heavy fines to jail time.

At Katz & Phillips, P.A., we have a deep understanding of the laws surrounding DUI checkpoints. Our approach includes a thorough review of your case, challenging the legality of the checkpoint, and scrutinizing every detail of your stop and arrest.