DUI Checkpoints on Halloween: Advice from a DUI Lawyer in West Palm Beach
The time of year is here when kids and adults alike get dressed up as their favorite superheroes, horror figure, princesses, and more. Halloween is a time for trick or treating, candy, and sometimes, parties for the adults to enjoy. This isn’t a problem and should be in good fun, but sometimes these parties include drinking. That is why law enforcement offices tend to increase their number of DUI checkpoints.
It is important to know that with Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, there will most likely be plenty of parties. This means possible drunk drivers, as well. The increased number of DUI checkpoints are used to prevent individuals from driving while intoxicated. If you have not been drinking, make sure to remain compliant at these DUI checkpoints.
Abstaining from drinking and driving is always the number one option, but if you find yourself in a compromised position, here are important things to note:
Your Rights at a DUI Checkpoint
At a DUI checkpoint, you may be asked where you are coming from and where you are going. This is a simple question, but it is often used to get you to speak and may exhibit alcohol on the breath. You may also be required to provide regular information such as your driver’s license and registration. This is perfectly legal, and you should comply. You must also comply if you are asked to pull over for more questioning.
Oftentimes, the officer is looking for behavior, body signs, speech problems, and coordination to see if the driver is intoxicated. They may also request you to participate in the standard field sobriety tests. Under Florida law, these field sobriety tests are not mandatory. A breath test may also be requested and while you can refuse this test, it would result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, regardless of blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
If you are pulled over at a DUI checkpoint this Halloween, remember to stay calm and compliant. Any passengers should be instructed to do the same. Only comply with the tests or questions you must. You don’t necessarily have to mention where you have been, where you are going, or if you have had anything to drink.
Even a Drink or Two Could Show Up
Remember that just because you “only had a couple of beers” doesn’t mean you are safe. It is important to know Florida law enforcement MUST conduct breath tests using a certified machine located at a police station or sheriff’s office. While inadmissible in court, portable breathalyzers in the field and at the time of DUI checkpoint can be used to compel law enforcement to take suspects into custody. Refusing the field breath test, however, is not a crime.
If the worst-case scenario occurs and you do get stopped and charged for DUI, and you think that you do not have a case, please think again. It is crucial to find a DUI lawyer in West Palm Beach that has a proven track record of winning DUI cases. At the Law Office of Patrick R. McKamey, P.A., we understand the way these DUI checkpoints are operated, and we know that the amount of these will increase dramatically on Halloween. If you are arrested for or charged with a DUI, call our West Palm Beach DUI attorneys as soon as possible. We are here to defend your rights. Call (561) 370-7424 today for your free consultation.