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Also known as sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks, DUI checkpoints are legal in Florida. The purpose of a checkpoint is to check for potentially intoxicated drivers. 

Police departments generally set up roadblocks when there is an increased chance of impaired motorists. Common examples include weekends with special events such as the Super Bowl or holidays like Memorial Day weekend or New Year’s Eve. 

For a DUI checkpoint to be legal in Florida, police departments must provide public notice of the roadblock either online or in the local newspaper. The notice must state the location of the checkpoint and the duration of the stop. 

In addition, checkpoints must be performed by a neutral formula. For instance, officers must stop every fourth vehicle that passes by the roadblock, rather than target specific cars or drivers. 

The following is a breakdown of the DUI checkpoint process in Florida: 

  • When you encounter a checkpoint, the police will either allow you to pass by or ask you to stop. 

  • If you are asked to stop, you will be detained for a short period of time on the road and the officer will ask you certain questions. 

  • If the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be asked to perform one or several field sobriety tests (FSTs) or a breathalyzer test. 

  • If you fail the FST or breathalyzer test, you will be arrested. 

Keep in mind, the police must set up warning signs for their DUI checkpoints. Since you are well aware of the existence of the checkpoint before you reach it, you may make a legal traffic maneuver – turning left or making a legal U-turn – to avoid driving through the roadblock. However, if you attempt to make an illegal maneuver, then the police can pull you over. 

If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint and the police failed to properly set up the checkpoint, failed to follow a random and fair procedure when pulling over motorists, or violated your constitutional rights in any way, you may avoid a conviction with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

Facing DUI charges in Miami? Contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today at (305) 400-0074 for a free initial consultation. Get a former prosecutor with 19 years of experience on your side! 

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