Encountering a DUI checkpoint can be a stressful experience, even if you haven’t been drinking. The presence of numerous law enforcement officers in one place makes some drivers want to turn around on the spot. But you may wonder what might happen if you do turn around and the extent to which doing so may arouse suspicion. Understanding your rights where DUI checkpoints are concerned and the extent to which you can turn around at a certain point is key to doing so safely and legally.
Can You Turn Around During a DUI Checkpoint?
There is a difference between turning around during a DUI checkpoint and before a DUI checkpoint. In Florida, you can turn around before a DUI checkpoint and avoid it entirely. In fact, a law enforcement officer cannot stop or detain you for doing so if they do not suspect you of impaired driving. You are allowed to safely turn around if there is an avenue in which to do so, such as an area to make a legal U-turn or a side street down which you can turn. People opt to turn around before DUI checkpoints for many reasons, none of which require any legal explanation from you should you opt to do so.
Conversely, if you have opted to drive up and through the checkpoint and are stopped and questioned, you cannot decide to drive away or turn around at that point. DUI checkpoints are only structured to allow officers to ask you questions and gauge your behavior to determine if you appear to be impaired. Once they have done so, if they do not have probable cause to believe you are impaired, then they must let you go. However, if they do have reason to believe you might be impaired, they can then ask you to perform field sobriety tests or take a chemical test to determine if you are under the influence and to what extent.
Reach Out to a Qualified Florida DUI Lawyer If You’ve Been Stopped for Turning Around at a Checkpoint
If you have been stopped for turning around before encountering a DUI checkpoint in Florida, you should immediately retain legal counsel. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has spent more than 30 years helping those accused of DUI successfully defend against the charges. He will handle your case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his career.