Last night, Thursday, November 13, 2014 until the early morning hours of today (November 14, 2014, the Miami Police Department conducted a DUI checkpoint.
From 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 12:00 a.m. on Friday, November 14, 2014, the Miami Police Department held a DUI checkpoint at the intersection of Northeast 5th Avenue and NE 79th Street.
DUI checkpoints are legal mechanisms by which police officers temporarily detain drivers for the purpose of detecting signs of impairment.
A DUI checkpoint also allows officers to check your driver’s license. If you are driving while your license is suspended, you can also be arrested. DUI checkpoints also give cops an opportunity to check for outstanding warrants.
A DUI checkpoint is valid provided the police department publicly issues notice prior to the event. This is usually done through publication in a local newspaper. The notice tells the public where and when the DUI checkpoint will be held and for how long.
The department must also keep written guidelines for the officers to follow.
While it is imperative that you never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, it is important to be aware of the location of DUI checkpoints so that you can avoid them. Stopping and executing a U-turn upon seeing a DUI checkpoint is a surefire way to get pulled over.
Typically, a DUI checkpoint will have a mobile DUI testing center onsite, which will include a breath machine (Intoxilyzer 8000), as well as a place for DUI officers to conduct Field Sobriety Tests.
DUI checkpoints can be problematic for anyone considering the fact that it legally enables a face-to-face encounter with police. What if the officer smells marijuana? What if the officer runs your license and sees that you have an active bench warrant?
The list goes on...
Stay informed about the location, time, and duration of checkpoints in Miami-Dade County so that you may avoid them.
Eric Matheny is a Miami DUI lawyer and Broward DUI lawyer.