With the holiday season here, Florida law enforcement officers will be increasing their patrols to crack down on drunk drivers over the next several weeks. More than likely, they also will set up DUI checkpoints, especially on New Year’s Eve, when many drivers may have been drinking at a late-night party.

If you find yourself approaching a DUI checkpoint, you may want to avoid it. Maybe you’ve had a drink or two and don’t want to take your chances of facing DUI charges. Yet, can you simply turn away from an upcoming DUI checkpoint?

DUI checkpoint rules

In Florida, you can turn away from a DUI checkpoint. As long as you make a legal U-turn and aren’t driving erratically, police won’t stop your vehicle.

If you forget to turn away, or can’t do so safely, police may stop you to see if you are intoxicated. Remember you still have rights. You don’t have to tell police how many drinks you’ve had or where you came from or where you are going. You can give police your license and registration and request your right to remain silent. However, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer tests, you can face additional penalties, even if you aren’t driving drunk.

When facing DUI charges

If you end up facing DUI charges after a DUI checkpoint, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can review your case to prepare a DUI defense for you or see if police made any mistakes that could reduce or dismiss the charges. You want to do all you can to avoid a DUI conviction, which not only comes with a fine, jail time and license suspension, but also can affect your future employment opportunities.