Law enforcement agencies throughout Florida regularly set up roadblocks with checkpoints to investigate possible driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or controlled substances offenses. The constitutionality of such checkpoints has been the subject of numerous court battles over the years, but these types of roadblocks are generally allowable provided that the agency operating the checkpoint follows certain procedures.
DUI checkpoints in Florida must be conducted in accordance with plans announced prior to the roadblocks being set up. Any deviation from or failure to abide by the terms of a plan can result in the criminal charges for DUI arrests at such checkpoints being dismissed because of an illegal roadblock.
Lawyer for DUI Checkpoint Arrests in Brooksville, FL
Were you arrested for an alleged DUI offense at a checkpoint in Central Florida? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal representation. Contact Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. as soon as possible.
Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville who represents clients accused of drunk driving in communities throughout Sumter County, Citrus County, Hernando County, and Pasco County. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (352) 593-4115 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of DUI Checkpoints in Florida
- What rules do DUI checkpoints have to follow in Florida?
- What should a driver do if stopped at a roadblock?
- Where can I learn more about DUI checkpoints in Brooksville?
All DUI checkpoints in Florida require law enforcement agencies to develop checkpoint plans, or sets of guidelines that establish the time and location of the proposed roadblock and the intended selection of vehicles (every third automobile, etc.). If the plan is approved, then there must be some type of public notification made about when the checkpoint will happen, whether it is an advertisement in a newspaper, online, or through some other source.
Checkpoint plans also must discuss what a police officer should do when he or she believes a driver is impaired and how the officer should deal with detention in such cases. A checkpoint needs to go completely according to its submitted operational plan, otherwise a criminal defense lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress all evidence gathered at an illegal roadblock.
Should you be stopped at a DUI roadblock in Central Florida, you should provide the law enforcement officer with all identification, vehicle registration, and/or proof of insurance as requested. If a police officer asks you any further questions, you should exercise your right to remain silent.
When an officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, you should comply with the request. While alleged offenders in DUI cases in Florida are required to submit to chemical tests under the state’s implied consent law, the same requirement does not apply to field sobriety tests. You should refuse to submit to any kind of field sobriety testing.
If you are asked to submit to a test of your breath, refusing to submit to such a test will result in your arrest. Submitting the test, however, could also result in your arrest if the device shows that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
You will want to make sure that you exercise your right to legal counsel. An experienced attorney will be able to help you protect your legal rights during a very difficult situation.
State v. Jones, 483 So.2d 433 (1986) — Ronald Dean Jones was arrested for DUI after failing several field sobriety tests during a DUI roadblock on July 4, 1982. Jones initially entered a plea of not guilty and filed a pretrial motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of what he contended to be an illegal seizure, but the court denied the motion and Jones entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest). The circuit court affirmed both the judgment and the sentence, but the Second District Court of Appeal quashed the circuit court's affirmance and reversed the conviction after ruling that the roadblock violated Jones' fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. On February 20, 1986, the Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the state failed to prove that the city’s roadblock procedure met the balancing test mandated in Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, 99 S. Ct. 2637, 61 L. Ed. 2d 357 (1979) “and therefore violates the requirements of the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution,” although the Supreme Court stressed that, “when the record in a given case adequately reflects that a roadblock procedure satisfies the criteria” adopted in State v. Deskins, 234 Kan. 529, 673 P.2d 1174 (1983), “such a roadblock would likely pass constitutional muster.”
Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990) — Multiple residents who were licensed drivers in Michigan filed a complaint in circuit court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from potential subjection to DUI checkpoints. The trial court ruled that the program violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the holding that the program violated the Fourth Amendment, but the Michigan Supreme Court denied petitioners' application for leave to appeal. In a 6-3 decision issued on June 14, 1990, the United States Supreme Court held that a state's use of highway sobriety checkpoints does not violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and reversed the holding of the Court of Appeals of Michigan. In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, “The most disturbing aspect of the Court's decision today is that it appears to give no weight to the citizen's interest in freedom from suspicionless unannounced investigatory seizures.”
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville DUI Checkpoints Defense Attorney
If you were arrested in Central Florida for DUI after being stopped at a roadblock, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. defends residents and visitors arrested for drunk driving in Inverness, New Port Richey, Spring Hill, Weeki Wachee, Wildwood, Brooksville, and many surrounding areas of Hernando County.
Brooksville criminal defense lawyer Ashley Aulls can review all of the circumstances surrounding the DUI checkpoint and fight to possibly get your criminal charges dismissed. Call (352) 593-4115 or fill out an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss your legal options during a free initial consultation.