Are DUI Charges More Common Around the Holidays?

DUI, driving under the influence, is a serious charge and one that must be addressed as quickly as possible when it occurs. A typical DUI may stem from a simple traffic stop. From there, the police officer may feel as though you have been drinking and if so, may decide to proceed with DUI tests and charges. Traffic stops in general may be increased throughout the holiday season as police are more vigilant in watching for potential problems. In fact, you may notice that law enforcement sets up DUI checkpoints more often during this time of year.

DUI Checkpoints

DUI checkpoints, also called sobriety checkpoints, are roadside areas that are manned by law enforcement to randomly test drivers. These checkpoints are usually set up at times when DUI is more common – at night. Many people have questioned whether the use of these types of checkpoints is legal and the answer is yes. Florida law allows for sobriety checkpoints to be utilized. What you need to know, however, is that it’s important that proper procedures are followed at these areas. If you come upon a sobriety checkpoint it is to be treated as any other typical traffic stop. You’ll be asked to show your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. Police may stop only one car out of every several. Take note of how the police are conducting these stops.

DUI Field Tests

If a police officer thinks that you are driving under the influence he may ask you to take some field sobriety tests. Some of the most common field sobriety tests include:

  • Walking a straight line
  • Reciting the alphabet
  • Touching your finger to your nose with your eyes closed
  • Holding your foot out in front for ten seconds

Keep in mind that these are the kinds of tests that you can’t practice for. Police officers are trained to make a determination of your possible DUI based on their observation of the tests. In Florida you are required by law to submit to blood, breath, or urine testing if requested. However, you are not required to take any field sobriety tests. By failing to take these tests you’ll likely cause the officer to become suspicious and you may be asked to take a breath test anyway. Remember that you can request that your attorney be present –don’t answer any questions until your lawyer is with you.

Defending DUI Charges

DUI charges are serious. If convicted of DUI you’ll be facing a variety of penalties including suspension of your driver’s license, possible jail time, fines, and potential alcohol rehabilitation. Also, you’ll face humiliation from your friends and family and may have difficulty getting a job. You can fight DUI charges with the help of an experienced DUI attorney. It’s best to get your lawyer involved as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to represent you at the initial hearing where the charges will be identified and bail will be set. Your attorney will also be able to request a DMV hearing to try to retain your driver’s license while the case proceeds to court. The lawyer will work to determine whether any problems exist with your case and decide on the best way to defend the charges against you in order to get the best possible result.