When you see the flash of an officer’s patrol car behind you after you’ve been drinking your stomach can sink to your feet. A DUI arrest is a nerve wracking experience and can cause disruption to your life. The experience is no less frightening when the arrest comes from a DUI checkpoint rather than a policeman pulling you over unexpectedly. But when the arrest is a result of DUI checkpoint you should conduct a thorough investigation to be sure the checkpoint was legal.
Not all states allow for use of police DUI checkpoints, but Florida is not one of those states. That does not mean that if you were arrested at a checkpoint that the arrest is valid. Certain rules and procedures have to be followed in order for a checkpoint to be considered lawful:
- Prior to implementation, the prospective site must have an operational plan submitted and approved.
● There must be notice of when and where the checkpoint will be in use, and the procedures at the stop must follow the operational plan exactly.
● The vehicles stopped must be chosen at random and an officer must direct traffic through the stop.
Between 15 and 20 DUI checkpoints are set up in Florida on a monthly basis. If your DUI arrest stems from a DUI checkpoint, make sure the above rules were followed. The failure of the police to follow the regulations in place for checkpoints could help you defeat the charges. Seasoned DUI defense attorneys know how to identify instances of police missteps and use those to your advantage. Call our office for more information.
If you were arrested for DUI at a checkpoint and question the validity of the stop, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. We offer aggressive representation for criminal charges, with an emphasis in DUI defense. The first visit is a free initial consultation. Call us today to schedule an appointment.