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DUI Checkpoints and "No Refusal" for New Year's Eve

In general, when someone is pulled over by an officer or stopped at a checkpoint and asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, he or she has the right to refuse the test. This is a protection of our rights against search and seizure without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

Refusing the test, however, comes with certain sanctions. Not only will the person be charged with DUI regardless, but he or she will also automatically lose his or her license for at least a year. There are certain times when this right is not afforded, however. When there are known dates of increased drunk driving, the county may institute a "No Refusal" weekend or day. This is common on New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving and July 4th.

Recently, counties have begun liberally using the "No Refusal" law. While the individual can still choose not to take the breathalyzer test, the choice is in effect moot, as a judge on the scene will then issue a warrant for a blood sample.

Tampa DUI Defense Attorney Thomas & Paulk, P.A. Attorneys at Law