Holidays are a time of celebration, and for many people, celebration is synonymous with partying, which may involve the consumption of alcohol or even drugs. Especially when holidays fall on a weekend, the temptation to overindulge can be too strong for people who have decided to kick back and enjoy themselves.
Drunk driving tends to go up significantly on the weekends before or right after holidays like the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve. In fact, the Fourth of July is frequently viewed as one of the most deadly days of the year for drunk driving.
The fact that the increase in risk is well-known likely means that there will be increased police presence on the roads and possibly other enforcement efforts across the state of Florida on holidays associated with drinking.
Law enforcement roadblocks seek to stop drunk driving accidents
Knowing that more people will be drinking and then driving home from parties and to see fireworks displays can lead police to plan roadblocks or sobriety checkpoints. These enforcement pop-ups may occur near popular fireworks displays or on major roads in the evening.
Police then interact with everyone who goes through the roadblock or checkpoint in order to screen for signs of alcohol impairment or drug intoxication. The idea is to catch impaired drivers before they head home and potentially cause a serious crash.
Do you have options when approaching a roadblock or checkpoint?
It can be a nerve-racking experience to have to drive through a checkpoint where police scrutinize you and everyone in your vehicle, even if you have done nothing inappropriate. If you find yourself driving toward a checkpoint, you may wonder if you have the right to stop and turn around to take a different route.
There is nothing illegal about changing your path in order to avoid a sobriety checkpoint. However, officers may communicate with other police vehicles nearby, meaning you could still wind up stopped because you attempted to avoid the checkpoint.
Those who get swept up in sobriety checkpoints, especially those who believe that they were not impaired or over the legal limit at the time of their arrest, may have the right to defend themselves against pending impaired driving charges.