Miami DUI arrests, sobriety checkpoints, a Thanksgiving holiday danger

Authorities will be out in force this weekend conducting DUI checkpoints in Miami and engaging in other aggressive enforcement tactics targeting drunk drivers.

Miami DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Barakat and the staff at our law office wish each of you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. Please celebrate responsibly and if you find yourself in need of legal representation, contact us to discuss your rights.

Florida drunk driving charges are often beatable — particularly when a sobriety checkpoint or other enforcement crackdown is involved. Such efforts often lead to marginal arrests and/or a violation of a motorist’s rights. Sobriety checkpoints, in particular, must be conducted in accordance with strict rules, including a written checkpoint plan that complies with the various aspects of law meant to protect a motorist’s rights against unlawful search and seizure.

The Florida Highway Patrol has announced increased enforcement from Nov. 24 to 28 and will put administrative personnel in enforcement positions on the state’s main highways throughout the travel period. Auxiliary and Reserve troopers and volunteers will also be utilized. This can also lead to improper tactics used during field sobriety testing and arrest.

The truth of the matter is that only about half of those charged with drunk driving are found guilty each year — 36,000 of 63,000 last year.

First-time offenders may have the best chance of seeking a reduction or dismissal of the charges. And the tiered nature of Florida’s drunk driving law makes avoiding a first conviction an essential step to protecting your future freedom and livelihood in the unfortunate event that you are stopped and cited again.

Not only will a subsequent conviction lead to stiffer penalties, including lengthy license suspensions and jail time, but there is information to suggest that once a drunk driving conviction is on your record it makes is easier to be stopped and cited again.

Various studies put the cost of a drunk driving conviction at $10,000 or more, including fines, court costs, increased insurance premiums and other costs. Loss of freedom and mobility and job loss are also frequent consequences. Consulting an experienced Miami drunk driving defense attorney is critical to protecting your rights.