Florida DUI Defense Lawyers Whittel & Melton :: Cinco de Mayo DUI Checkpoints to Increase Nationwide This Year

May 3, 2012

Ready for a fiesta this Cinco de Mayo? Then be prepared for DUI checkpoints and increased patrols nationwide.

This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekend, a first in five years. Because of this, many law enforcement agencies are setting up DUI checkpoints to start Friday night, possibly earlier.

Police will be implementing all sorts of tactics this weekend – stationary checkpoints being just one of the tools used to make sure drivers are sober.

In fact, police in San Francisco will be on motorcycles this weekend performing mobile Cinco de Mayo DUI patrols around the city.

Likewise, mobile patrols may be used this weekend in the 11 states where DUI checkpoints are not conducted because of legal limitations.

For states like Florida, where DUI checkpoints are increasingly common, courts generally uphold such checkpoints, if they’re conducted properly. A DUI checkpoint should entail:

  • A neutral formula for choosing which vehicles should be stopped. For example, every fourth vehicle that approaches the checkpoint.
  • A limit in duration, with the main focus being on public safety.
  • Advanced notice, so that the checkpoint is less intrusive.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DUI checkpoints reduce drunken driving-related crashes by around 20 percent.

Another factor to consider regarding DUI checkpoints, Cinco de Mayo checkpoints included is that they are generally conducted at night. Why? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunken-driving fatalities are about four times more likely to occur at night than during daylight hours. Additionally, more than 30 percent of fatalities that take place on weekends involve intoxicated motorists.

Sobriety checkpoints are set up by law enforcement at various locations to stop traffic and test for possible drunk driving. These stops are designed to see if the person driving is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Florida, these checkpoints are implemented throughout the state in different cities as a means to prevent drunk driving through the use of random locations and stops. However, police must adhere to strict guidelines when setting these checkpoints up, and if any violations occur, this can aid in your defense against any charges brought against you during one of these sobriety checkpoints.

It is important to realize that every DUI charge is different, so it is best to consult with the Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton after being arrested for DUI. By acting fast, this enables us to conduct a full investigation into the complete procedure that was used to arrest you for drunk driving. Every single step of the process, including where and how the roadblock was set up, the field sobriety test, the actual arrest and blood alcohol testing, must all meet the terms of strict protocols. Failure by law enforcement to follow these policies at any point can create a defense for you against DUI charges.

If you or someone you know is arrested this weekend for a DUI stemming from a sobriety checkpoint anywhere in the state of Florida, contact the Florida DUI Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or dial us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529). We can direct you on the best way to proceed with the charges stacked against you.

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