If you enjoy drinking alcohol, Sarasota certainly has plenty of places to imbibe. For most Floridians, of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with consuming beer, wine or spirits. If you drink and drive, though, a random patrol officer may stop your vehicle and ask you to participate in a field sobriety test.
Routine traffic patrols are not your only concern, however. Unlike in some states, it is typically acceptable for law enforcement to set up sobriety checkpoints on public roads in Florida. For these checkpoints to pass legal muster, though, they must meet certain requirements.
Can you turn to avoid a checkpoint?
When they erect a DUI checkpoint, officers should clearly mark it with warning signs. Not only do these signs alert approaching motorists to the presence of the checkpoint, but they also typically tell drivers where to stop safely. If you see a sign, you may wonder if you can turn to avoid the checkpoint.
Generally, the answer is yes. That is, provided you make legal maneuvers, it is usually acceptable to turn to avoid the checkpoint. Officers may not infer anything from your decision to make a legal turn.
Can you remain silent?
If officers waive you over, it is advisable to be careful what you say. After all, members of law enforcement may try to get you to incriminate yourself. Answering questions with straightforward answers may keep you from saying something you later regret. Remember, though, according to Florida law, you have already consented to breath or chemical testing simply by driving on state roadways.
There is a great deal of law regarding sobriety checkpoints. Ultimately, if you are facing charges following an arrest at a DUI checkpoint, it is critical to question whether officers may have made some error.