Sobriety Checkpoints Are Not Just About Sobriety
Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) December 14, 2012 - Sobriety checkpoints exist to check for a wide variety of offenses.
“Sobriety checkpoints are not just about catching drunk drivers. They are also designed to check drivers for drug-impaired driving, not to mention equipment violations, proper registration, proper insurance coverage, and whether they have a valid driver’s license,” said Thomas Grajek, a Polk County criminal defense lawyer.
Consider a recent sobriety checkpoint operation held in a neighboring county, in which County Sheriffs halted at least 200 vehicles, and in the process, arrested and charged one individual for not having a valid driver’s license, possessing a controlled substance he planned to sell and possessing marijuana. “It was apparently a fairly busy operation, with narcotics deputies, K-9 units and regular deputies manning the checkpoint,” Grajek added.
“If you get stopped at a checkpoint such as this, make sure you know your rights,” Grajek cautioned. For instance, those stopped on the suspicion of driving while intoxicated are not obligated to take a field sobriety test, or carry out any other type of test requested by law enforcement. They are also not required to speak to a police officer.
“When it comes right down to it, if someone is charged with DUI/DWI, or thinks they will be, it is best if they say nothing, and insist on calling criminal defense counsel. Do not say anything to the police. Do not volunteer why you may have been driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, because your words will come back to haunt you later. Why you were driving under the influence is something to discuss only with your lawyer, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise,” Grajek added.
Ultimately, it would be a good idea not to drink and drive, or drive while under the influence of a drug. However, life happens, and sometimes an unexpected reaction to a drug, or an inadvertent combination of two substances causes a person to drive erratically. This is when the skilled assistance of a criminal defense attorney is mandatory in order to get justice.
Thomas C. Grajek
206 Easton Drive, Suite 102
Lakeland, FL 33803
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