Sobriety Checkpoints in Tampa
Were you arrested for suspicion of DUI at a checkpoint?
If you have been arrested for DUI at a checkpoint, it is possible that the evidence against you has been misconstrued. You may be able to defend your rights in court and have your case dismissed. When it comes to protecting your rights and future opportunities, our DUI lawyers in Tampa may help you pursue an effective course of action and achieve a positive resolution.
Call our Tampa DUI lawyers today and get informed about your legal options!
Your Rights During a Checkpoint Stop
In Florida, sobriety checkpoints obey a three-minute rule that requires them to relieve backed-up traffic at checkpoints if the stops take longer than three minutes at any point in time. Alongside this rule, there are several other requirements that members of law enforcement must obey when conducting sobriety checkpoints. It is important to know your rights at these checkpoints in order to prevent a wrongful DUI arrest from resulting in a conviction.
If you are stopped at a checkpoint, you may show your identification to the officer. However, if the officer asks you any questions, you have
the right to refuse to answer. Because the officers will be looking for signs of intoxication like slurred speech and the smell of alcohol, they may not reasonably suspect you of driving while intoxicated simply because you politely refuse to answer questions.
You also have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle—if the officer orders you out of your car, ensure that you lock your doors after exiting.
What happens at a checkpoint?
Sobriety checkpoints are often set up late in the evening, at times and in places where there might be drunk drivers. The problem with this is that police are not exactly assuming innocence with every individual they stop. When a law enforcement officer stops an individual at a sobriety checkpoint, they are looking for signs of intoxication.
The police listen for slurred speech, difficulty speaking or anything that could be used as evidence that they are driving while intoxicated. If you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint and suspected of driving under the influence of impairing substances, then you may be asked to take a field sobriety test, and chemical tests to determine your blood alcohol content. These tests are designed to do one thing—collect evidence against you.
Other Issues at DUI Checkpoints
Attempting to evade a checkpoint can be considered attempting to evade law enforcement, which is a crime. Sometimes people are charged with DUI without having any impairing substance in their system at all. In addition, there are a number of symptoms of fatigue that can resemble that of alcohol or drugs. Any one of these factors may provide an effective defense against your DUI arrest.
At Parks & Braxton, PA, our Tampa DUI attorneys have 40+ years of collective experience helping individuals defend their rights in court.
Our firm has handled thousands of DUI cases and helped clients work through all kinds of difficult legal issues. When it comes to protect your rights after a DUI arrest at a checkpoint, find out our legal team can help!
Schedule a free case consultation with our DUI defense attorney today!