DUI checkpoints aren’t legal in every state, but they are in Florida. Residents and visitors alike should be aware of their rights when encountering a DUI checkpoint.
Knowing how you’re obligated to comply and what rights you have or to refuse can help you minimize the legal consequences that can come out of a DUI checkpoint.
What Happens at a DUI Checkpoint?
Law enforcement officers don’t always inform you when you have the right to refuse a request. When you don’t know your rights and obligations, it’s easier to accidentally incriminate yourself.
At a checkpoint, a law enforcement officer stops you and assesses your sobriety level. If an officer believes you to be under the influence, you may be arrested and taken to jail.
If you’re arrested, don’t resist. You’ll need to contact a Palm Coast, Florida criminal defense attorney to help with the charges you’re facing.
What Are My Rights?
You might be surprised to learn that you have the right to refuse to cooperate with most aspects of a DUI checkpoint.
Refusing to Speak with Law Enforcement
You must stop at a DUI checkpoint, but you’re not legally required to speak with law enforcement.
Some drivers choose to show a lawyer’s contact information through the window to minimize contact. It can help reduce incrimination when the lawyer directly communicates with the police on your behalf.
Refusing to speak with police at a DUI checkpoint will make the police suspicious. It’s guaranteed to make the checkpoint process last longer. However, you do have the legal right to refuse.
Refusing a Field Sobriety Test
If you do speak with the police at a DUI checkpoint and you are suspected of driving under the influence, you’ll be asked to perform a field sobriety test. Drivers also have the legal right to refuse to participate in this.
These tests do not conclusively prove intoxication. More importantly, they require a level of physical dexterity that not all people possess, even when fully sober.
If you’re asked to complete the field sobriety test, your sobriety is already in question. If you choose to refuse the test, you’ll need to contact a Palm Coast DUI lawyer.
What Are My Obligations?
Drivers in Florida don’t have many obligations at a DUI checkpoint. You are required to stop and show identification, but you don’t have to participate in questioning or the field test.
Chemical Sobriety Test
Florida drivers do have one important obligation: the chemical sobriety test. Florida state laws dictate that drivers automatically agree to chemical sobriety tests by using the Florida roadways. Refusing a chemical sobriety test can result in criminal charges, fines, and a suspended or revoked license.
When Do I Need a Palm Coast DUI Lawyer?
If you have legal issues related to driving under the influence, you should contact a Palm Coast, Florida criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Knowing your rights and reducing the information you give to police can help a DUI attorney reduce the severity of the charges you face.