What Are Sobriety Checkpoints?

Sobriety checkpoints, also known as DUI checkpoints, are special areas of the roadway that have been designated for law enforcement checks. These checkpoints target DUI but also address other infractions as well. Sobriety checkpoints are most often implemented on holiday weekends such as Memorial Day. Drivers should expect to encounter a DUI checkpoint in some of the busiest roadways over the long weekend.

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Yes, generally speaking, if implemented according to the proper procedures, these types of checkpoints are legal. In fact, often times additional law enforcement officers are brought on board specifically to man these checkpoints over busy weekends. The checkpoints must be authorized and a plan must be implemented. The plan includes the location of the checkpoint and the way the random vehicles will be checked. For example, a plan may call for every 4th car to be stopped and checked.

What Happens in a Checkpoint Stop?

A typical checkpoint stop is often rather quick. The officer will approach the vehicle and ask for driver’s license for review. Your license plate may be scanned to determine whether there are any outstanding tickets. If the officer feels it is necessary, the driver may be requested to step out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. These consist of a variety of things that may include walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet, and standing on one leg. If the officer feels you have shown signs of insobriety he may request that you take a DUI test.

Do I Have to Take a DUI Test?

Florida has an implied consent law in place. Every driver has automatically agreed to submit to a DUI test simply by accepting his or her driver’s license. A member of law enforcement may request a DUI test on the scene, which is almost always in the form of a breathalyzer test. Failure to submit to this test can result in additional charges against you that include an automatic license suspension. Additionally, the fact that you refused will be used against you in your DUI case in court.

Fighting DUI Charges

DUI charges are serious and can result in harsh consequences that may include license suspension, fines, and even jail time. If you have been charged with DUI it is essential to speak to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review all aspects of your situation and determine whether any mistakes were made during the process of your testing and arrest. It is possible to fight charges and obtain a favorable outcome.