Gainesville DUI Checkpoints Lawyer
If you drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of your vehicle, instead of driving directly to your destination, you may be forced into a roadblock where police have set up a DUI checkpoint. This effort to target individuals driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is one of the most controversial law enforcement practices in the state of Florida. Creating a roadblock to corral vehicles into a specific intersection to undergo what some drivers see as an interrogation is intimidating and unsettling. If your interview with police officers results in an arrest, do not delay in contacting a Gainesville DUI checkpoints lawyer.
Investigate Your Options, Call a Gainesville DUI Checkpoints Attorney
Why do you need an attorney? Because the evidence that police collect at DUI checkpoints can be used to bring a drunk-driving charge against you. Being convicted of this charge means your driving privileges will be suspended or severely limited. If you’re the primary driver in your family or if you drive for your job, this could negatively impact your ability to earn an income and provide for your family. Rather than run the risk of losing all that is valuable to you, contact the law firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A. to discuss how you can legally challenge the accusations leveled against you.
Should You Risk an Arrest at a DUI Checkpoint?
DUI checkpoints are temporary roadblocks set up by Gainesville police to nab drunk drivers and take them off the road. From a public safety standpoint, the goal of getting dangerous drivers off the road is admirable. From a Constitutional standpoint, the practice is questionable. The U.S. Supreme Court has already weighed in on this and determined that while checkpoints infringe upon a driver’s 4th Amendment right of protection against unreasonable search and seizure, a state’s goal of providing safer roads by reducing the number of impaired drivers outweighs the violation of a person’s rights. The high court’s decision, however, does not mean that the actions of police and the results of sobriety tests administered at checkpoints cannot face a legal challenge.
If you are stopped by police at a DUI checkpoint, you can refuse an officer’s request to take sobriety tests and to search your vehicle. You can ask instead to speak to an attorney. If you decide to take this course of action, you may be arrested if the police officers have probable cause to take you into custody. The decision to refuse an officer’s request or follow instructions is yours. No matter what your decision, a Gainesville DUI checkpoint attorney at our firm can assist you in challenging the entire ordeal.
Another reason why sobriety checkpoints are called unreasonable and controversial is due to Florida’s “No Refusal DUI Checkpoints.” In this scenario, if a driver refuses to take a blood test, a police officer can ask a judge, who is on the checkpoint site, to issue a warrant that forces the driver to take a mandatory blood test performed by police. The blood test will determine whether the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. In Florida, refusing to take a chemical test to determine your BAC level can result in a suspended license for at least a year. The results from blood tests, breath tests and field sobriety tests taken at DUI checkpoints are used as evidence by police against drivers who they allege are legally intoxicated. A skilled Gainesville DWI checkpoint lawyer will contest these often-inconclusive results by examining such issues as:
- Whether the officer took into account any physical limitations, such as difficulty walking due to complications from a stroke or an inner ear infection, prior to instructing an individual to perform a field sobriety test.
- Whether the breathalyzer machine gave a false positive due to a driver having asthma, diabetes, acid reflux or taking certain medications.
- Whether the sobriety field tests administered followed the guidelines set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Whether or not you have been drinking or driving, it is important to get legal counsel if you have experienced complications at a Gainesville DUI roadblock.
Our Gainesville DUI Checkpoints Law Firm is Ready to Defend You
If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint for failing the sobriety tests or for refusing to submit to the tests, contact one of our Gainesville attorneys to discuss the legal options available to you in this situation.
Katz & Phillips, P.A. has experienced DUI attorneys who can work with you on getting your driver’s license restored after it was taken from you at a checkpoint. Contact us today to schedule a free legal evaluation with one of our lawyers.