You could get more trouble than you expect at a checkpoint

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | DUI

With stay-at-home orders in effect, government entities are working tirelessly to serve and protect public health needs. However, you may wonder whether some efforts to minimize the impact of the coronavirus could violate your rights. For example, your ability to travel within or outside of the state might be different now.

Drunk driving checkpoints are a fairly common tool of law enforcement. Yet, you might not be familiar with police stopping you simply to verify where you live.

Do you need permission to go home?

Many Americans own vacation homes in warm climates. Yet, current restrictions may prohibit you from getting to your second home.

The public health emergency has motivated some states to implement police checkpoints, which aim to strictly limit passage to residents. Without proper proof of residency, you may not have permission to proceed.

Some experts question the legality of alleged discrimination against out-of-state residents. At the same time, failure to adhere to traffic laws can lead to criminal charges.

Regulations apply, despite the reason for the traffic stop

Checkpoints meant to prohibit non-residents into the Florida Keys recently resulted in multiple criminal charges.

Reports suggest that a Miami resident tried to gain access to a Keys property owned by a limited liability company. Although he presented a tax bill for that piece of real estate, law enforcement officers denied the man access.

Rather than turn around, the man continued toward the island chain, where police placed him under arrest. Because he drove through the checkpoint without permission, the man faces charges which include:

  • Violating a disaster preparedness order
  • Fleeing and eluding police
  • Resisting an officer

While disagreements continue over the legality of roadblocks such as these, the man faces one felony and four misdemeanor charges.

Following traffic regulations and respecting directions you receive from a law enforcement officer is expected during any traffic stop, regardless of whether you agree. You have the ability the defend your rights. However, you may be wise to do so from the other side of the courtroom.