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DUI Checkpoints in Florida

Driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints, otherwise known as sobriety checkpoints, came under scrutiny by the United States Supreme Court in 1990, with the landmark case Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990).

Here, the question presented to the Court was, whether sobriety checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court held that a sobriety checkpoint is, in fact, a seizure within the meaning of the 4th Amendment, but left it up to the states to decide whether such stops are reasonable.

Considering that approximately 28 people die every day due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it comes as no surprise, that the State of Florida has deemed sobriety checkpoints constitutional under Florida law.

Attorney for DUI Checkpoints in Melbourne, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence after having been stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Melbourne, Florida, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney.

Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy is an experienced and dedicated defense attorney who will fight to get you the best possible result in your DUI case. Our offices is located in Melbourne, FL, and we take cases throughout the courtrooms in Brevard County, and in the surrounding areas of Orange County, Seminole, Indian River, County, County, Volusia County, and Osceola County, FL.

Call Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy at (321) 248-7742 now for more information about a free consultation and to speak one-on-one with our experienced lawyer.

Sobriety Tests Information Center

  • Are Sobriety Checkpoints Constitutional in FL?
  • Are Checkpoint Guidelines Required?
  • What To Do at DUI Checkpoints?

Florida Sobriety Checkpoints

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court deemed sobriety checkpoints constitutional, they are still regarded with a high level of scrutiny. The Florida Supreme Court determined in, State v. Jones, 483 So.2d 433 (Fla. 1986), that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional so long as the law enforcement agency conducting the stop has clear guidelines on how a checkpoint stop should be conducted.

The Court said, “it is essential that a written set of uniform guidelines be issued before a roadblock can be utilized,” and that an agency’s guidelines should “cover in detail, the procedures in which field officers are to follow at the roadblock.”

Checkpoint Guidelines

The Florida Supreme Court has stated that checkpoint guidelines need to cover the detailed procedures of a checkpoint and should not leave an undue amount of discretion to the law enforcement officers that are performing the stop.

Moreover, if a checkpoint stop is reviewed by a Florida court, the prosecutor must provide the defense with that law enforcement agency’s checkpoint plan. A valid checkpoint plan should set out specifically, the following procedures:

  • detention techniques;
  • vehicle selection;
  • duty assignments; and
  • the disposition of vehicles.

What To Do at DUI Checkpoints?

Considering that DUI checkpoints are constitutional in Florida, the way that one conducts his or herself during one of these encounters becomes of the utmost importance.

If a driver is stopped, he or she is required to present the officer with a driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Such requirements do not, however, take away an individual’s right to remain silent.

According to Florida law, all motorists are required to submit to a law enforcement officer’s request for a chemical test, such as a breath or urine test.

If an individual is suspected of drunk driving, he or she may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer. If the individual has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or higher, then he or she will be arrested for DUI.

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer may result in arrest and criminal prosecution.

Additional Resources

Sobriety Checkpoints – GHSA is the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, established by Title 23 U.S.C. § 402. The office is a non-profit that represents state and territorial highway safety offices that implement federal grant programs. The website discusses sobriety checkpoints, the guidelines, and the states that utilize them.

DUI Checkpoints in Brevard County, FL

If you or someone you know was arrested for driving under the influence at Brevard County roadblock or sobriety checkpoint, then contact the experienced DUI defense attorney at Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy.

Whether it is a first, second, or third offense DUI, we have handled multiple types of DUI cases and are knowledgeable the required defenses to get you the best possible result. Our office takes cases throughout Melbourne, Florida and in the surrounding areas of Orange County, Seminole, Indian River, County, County, Volusia County, and Osceola County, FL

Call (321) 248-7742 now or fill out our online evaluation form to schedule a consultation about your case.

This article was last updated on Monday, 10/26/2017.