How to handle a DUI checkpoint

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Whether your evening of drinks is in celebration or coping after a long day, knowing there could be DUI checkpoints on your way home can be stressful. DUI checkpoints often make it seem like they turn a chance you will get caught into a certainty.

Even if you have not been drinking, facing a DUI checkpoint can make you start to wonder how you can avoid behaviors that could be problematic if an officer stops you.

Here’s what you should know about what happens at a DUI checkpoint and how you can handle the situation.

What happens at a checkpoint?

Checkpoints are not permitted in all states. When officers decide to set up a DUI checkpoint in Florida, they have to follow specific parameters to ensure checks are fair. Law enforcement needs to determine the time, date, and location of the checkpoint in advance. Usually, they choose places that have higher rates of drunk driving accidents.

Officers must also determine whom they will check. For example, they may check every fourth car that passes through the checkpoint. The officer will ask a few questions and potentially ask you to perform a field sobriety test or take a breathalyzer test.

Can I turn around?

Once you enter the checkpoint area, you will not be able to turn around. If you attempt to turn around while in the checkpoint area, it will also raise suspicion.

However, if you learn about the location before you reach the marked checkpoint, you might be able to turn around as long as it is safe to do so. However, you should keep in mind that an officer could still find grounds to stop you for a different violation.

If you are unsure if you have had too much to drink, it is always safer to get a sober ride home.