Can I Turn Away from a DUI Checkpoint in Florida?
By Jonathan Blecher on January 24, 2022
Law enforcement routinely conducts DUI checkpoints on dates and in locations where drunken driving is expected to be a problem. Usually, this means that you’ll come across a DUI checkpoint around holidays, but you’re likely to find them on any given Friday or Saturday night as well.
If you come across a DUI checkpoint, you might want to avoid it. Perhaps you had a drink or two earlier in the night and don’t want to risk creating an unnecessary situation. As you see the lights and line of police and barricades coming closer, you might wonder, “Can I just turn around?”
Rules for Avoiding a DUI Checkpoint
In Florida, you may not always have to pass through a DUI checkpoint if you unwittingly come across one. If you can make a legal U-turn and do so safely, the police won’t come after you. That said, the police might plan on establishing a checkpoint well beyond a location where making a legal U-turn is possible.
Making a U-turn before a DUI checkpoint and where it’s illegal to do so can ruin your night. At best, you can be pulled over and cited for making the illegal turn. At worst, you can be investigated and arrested for DUI.
How to Handle a DUI Investigation
Whether you pass through the DUI checkpoint or are stopped for trying to turn away, you can expect a DUI investigation. During this process, you’ll be asked for your name, driver’s license, and registration, which you must provide.
You’ll also be asked questions such as, “How many drinks have you had tonight?” or “Are you going to your next party?” You are under no obligation to answer these questions and you should not answer them. Both of these questions, and others like them, can provide the police probable cause to initiate a DUI arrest. Why? Because they imply you’ve been drinking or were previously in a situation where drinking was going on.
If you are asked to submit to a field sobriety test, you have the right to decline these as well. Tests of balance and coordination serve only to give police additional probable cause for your arrest. Plenty of completely sober people have failed these tests and were convicted for DUI.
What Do I Do If I’m Arrested for DUI?
If you are arrested for DUI, you have two important rights you must exercise: your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel. You will not be able to talk your way out of handcuffs, so don’t attempt to do so. Even if you give the police information that would demonstrate your innocence, that information can and will only be used against you.
The only thing you should say to investigators at this point is “I want to see my attorney” and say nothing more until you meet with one. If you or a loved one needs legal counsel after a DUI arrest, reach out to Jonathan Blecher, P.A. for help. We have the legal experience and skill necessary to help our clients mitigate their responsibility for DUI charges, which can mean a case dismissal or acquittal.
To learn more about how we can help, contact Jonathan Blecher, P.A. online now.