Are DUI checkpoints legal in Florida?
DUI checkpoints have faced Constitutional scrutiny for many years. DUI checkpoint advocates suggest that they reduce traffic crashed by up to 9%, but in reality, it is almost impossible to quantify that statistic.
One thing we do know is that there is something about DUI checkpoints that feels wrong—from a privacy, and legal search and seizure standpoint.
And most people think that police should have a legal reason to stop you, subject you to questioning, invade your privacy, and take your precious time.
Unfortunately, our U.S. Supreme Court held that DUI checkpoints are constitutional and legal, which means they are still allowed in Florida.
Are some DUI checkpoints illegal?
Yes. If law enforcement officials violate the checkpoint guidelines established by Florida Statutes, then the checkpoints could be considered as “illegal traffic stops” and therefore, subject to the exclusionary rule of evidence.
That means that you could fight your DUI charges when your attorney uses a Motion to Suppress. For example, the checkpoint location must be published prior, with advanced warnings given to motorists on the roadway, and there must be a turn-around area located before the checkpoint.
If the checkpoint fails to comply with these laws, then the act of police stopping your vehicle is unlawful.
What should I do if I arrive at a DUI checkpoint?
The first thing to do is to print out one of my DUI Checkpoint Flyers and keep it in your vehicle at all times. Show this paper to law enforcement through your window along with a copy of your Driver’s License.
This may deter police from going through the trouble of stopping you, and they may just waive you through.
Additionally, the DUI Checkpoint Flyer cites constitutional and statutory law and puts the police officers on notice that you are asserting your legal rights and requiring them to follow the checkpoint guidelines.