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Are DUI sobriety checkpoints legal in Florida?

| Feb 25, 2020 | DUI

Not every American state allows for the operation of so-called sobriety checkpoints within its borders.

Florida does.

It is likely that not all the readers of our criminal defense blog at the Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey are fully familiar with what a checkpoint (sometimes termed a DUI roadblock) entails or provides for.

Even so, any motorist who comes upon a mobile checkpoint set up by a police department on a state roadway will certainly retain strong memories concerning all material aspects.

Especially if that driver is criminally charged with drunk driving or another behind-the-wheel offense.

One in-depth online overview of Florida sobriety checkpoints duly notes many motorists’ concerns regarding the reach of criminal authorities during such an exercise. It specifically underscores the essential criminal law tenet that police officers must have probable cause to closely interact with drivers pursuant to a traffic stop.

In stressing that bedrock principle, the article additionally notes a U.S. Supreme Court ruling carving out a probable cause exception for DUI roadblocks. The court’s holding rests on the view that “the dangers from drunk driving outweigh the ‘degree of intrusion’ of sobriety checkpoints.”

Florida law enforcers firmly endorse the ruling, the result being that roadblocks frequently operate on roadways spanning the state.

It is essential for any Florida driver to note that, while checkpoints are legal, they must be conducted with restraint and in accordance with stated guidelines. When they are not, criminally charged drivers have legal grounds for challenging adverse outcomes.

Questions or concerns regarding sobriety checkpoints or any other subject matter relevant to a DUI arrest and conviction can be addressed to a proven Florida criminal defense attorney.