Do Not Ring in the New Year at a Florida DUI Checkpoint

New Year’s is a time for celebrating, and for many people that means getting together with friends and enjoying some alcoholic beverages. As one could imagine, this causes New Year’s Eve to be the most common day of the year for drunk driving fatalities, with about a 129% increase compared to an average day. 

Because of this, there will be many DUI checkpoints all throughout Florida to keep drunk drivers off the road. Today, we will explain more about how these checkpoints work, what to expect should you be arrested for suspicion of DUI, and what your next steps are should you be charged with driving under the influence. 

Florida DUI Checkpoints  

DUI checkpoints are set up in areas where a higher number of inebriated drivers are expected to be out on the road and are especially common on holidays like New Year’s Eve. Keep in mind, officers do not need probable cause to stop you. These checks are designed to be random, so police officers usually check one out of every four cars. 

Though these DUI checks might seem like an infringement on your rights, in Florida, DUI checkpoints are legal, and you must stop if you are asked to.  

Learn More> Are DUI Checkpoints Legal in Florida?  

Potential Consequences of a DUI 

The consequences of driving drunk can be very substantial and life-changing. This is likely you or your loved one’s first time being arrested for a DUI, but our lawyers see this daily. Here’s what to expect when it comes to the legal consequences of receiving a DUI in Tampa Bay: 

These are very serious consequences, but in some cases, there may be indirect outcomes. Outside of legal troubles, driving under the influence can result in bodily harm, vehicle damage, the loss of your job, and substantially increased insurance premiums. The only way to prevent any of this from happening 100% of the time is to not drink and drive. 

 Preventing a DUI 

blood alcohol level over .08% is enough to get you charged. It’s important to note that alcohol affects everyone differently, so even if you “feel sober”, you may be over the legal limit. 

An easy way to avoid drinking and driving is to not drive in the first place when going out. The most common reason people decide to drive under the influence is when they drove their vehicle somewhere and don’t want to leave it there. Travel safely if you are under the influence. Ordering rideshares or having a designated driver with you from the start ensures you have no way home that involves you drunk driving. 

Often, people may attempt to “sober up” by drinking coffee, water, or taking a cold shower, but these things don’t lower your blood alcohol content. Sleeping it off in your car is also a poor decision and could also lead to you being charged with a DUI.  

Read More > Tampa’s Drunk Driving Problem 

What to Do if You Get Charged With a DUI 

Despite all of this, every year people drive intoxicated in record numbers on New Year’s. If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint or are pulled over and charged with a DUI, take these steps right away to mitigate the situation: 

  • Comply with the officer’s orders to the best of your ability (sobriety tests are highly subjective and breathalyzers can be faulty) 
  • Be respectful and take the event seriously 
  • Note of all the details pertaining to your arrest 

Once you have the opportunity, contact a knowledgeable attorney from Stechschulte Nell as soon as possible. Law enforcement can make mistakes during a DUI arrest, from the administration of the sobriety test to the arrest itself. Having a competent attorney in your corner can protect your rights and help defend you. 

Read More > To Blow or Not to Blow… 

DUI Defense Team on Your Side 

With the chaos of New Year’s Eve, the police are out in full force to catch every drunk driver. This holiday, do not drive drunk, if not for the safety of yourself, avoid it for the safety of others. With so many serious consequences for a DUI, it is worth it to order that Uber ride home. 

If you do, however, get pulled over for drunk driving and are charged with a DUI, contact Stechschulte Nell, Attorneys at Law, as soon as possible. We will analyze your unique DUI case and explain your defense strategies. We defend DUI cases throughout Tampa Bay, call our Florida-board certified attorney today to review your case; 813-280-1244

Stay safe this New Year’s Eve!  

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