Most everyone is aware of the DUI checkpoint. Law enforcement officers habitually set them up in an effort to help crackdown on drunk driving. For most people, this is a mere inconvenience – a short stop on their way home. For others, however, this can be a serious violation of their constitutional rights and can saddle them with criminal charges that are undeserved. So how do you know whether the sobriety checkpoint is legal or not? At Katz & Phillips, we are here to help explain this tool utilized by police officers so that you can have a better understanding of what exactly you’re facing with one of these.

Brief Explanation About DUI Checkpoints

Simply speaking, a DUI checkpoint is a temporary spot in which law enforcement officers set up shop. Here, they will be able to stop every vehicle that approaches or use a specific pattern to pull over vehicles that stop. Usually very early in the morning or very late at night, these checkpoints are used in an effort to catch drunk drivers that otherwise might have slipped through the net – no matter whether this was from a lack of police officers or from their lack of tell-tale signs of drunk driving.

If you are approaching a DUI checkpoint, there are several things that you should remember in an effort to protect your legal rights. As you are slowed down, roll down the window slightly (not all the way) and wait for the law enforcement officer to approach you. If they ask any questions, be sure that you answer politely; if they ask for your information, do not hesitate to provide them with any information that they need, including your driver’s license and your vehicle registration.

At this time, it is okay for you to politely refuse to answer any further questions. It is important that you remember that you do not have to answer anything that will incriminate you – you can decline by stating that you don’t wish to discuss any of the matters at hand. Don’t answer some and refuse others as this could raise suspicion on their mind and don’t answer any questions that could lead to self-incrimination. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to simply decline to answer and ask if you are free to leave. Unless they have reason to believe that you are under the influence or driving while impaired, they cannot detain you.

DUI Checkpoints: Questioning the Legality

The main issue that is raised regarding the legal of checkpoints is that many people view it as a violation of their constitutional rights. How so? It is stated in the 4th Amendment that the American people have the right to be free from an illegal search and seizure. This means that if you have a reason to expect privacy (such as in your home or your car), then there needs to be reasonable cause for which it to be searched. Many people argue that there is no reasonable cause for the traffic stops occurring at the sobriety checkpoints – that they are done at random and the person being subjected to the stop hasn’t done anything to deserve being pulled over. This has led to divided opinions across the nation.

Contact an Orlando DUI lawyer from our firm!

If you have been criminally charged with a DUI at a sobriety checkpoint, it is important that you do not hesitate to get the involvement of an Orlando DUI attorney as soon as possible. Just because you have been criminally charged does not mean that you have been criminally convicted. By working with an experienced lawyer, you will be able to have the aggressive defense that you need to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

Our attorneys will be able to address the situation to determine whether or not you were subjected to an illegal search and seizure. They can also look into the validity of the actual checkpoint. There are very specific guidelines that must be followed when operating one of these checkpoints and if they are not, the entire arrest could be thrown into question. So do not hesitate to give our firm at Katz & Phillips a call today. We have extensive experience in handling DUI-related cases and are prepared to go the distance in our efforts to help our clients protect their legal rights.

Do not hesitate to contact an Orlando DUI lawyer from our firm to learn more about checkpoints.