At a recent City Council meeting Duval County approved $500,000 to increase DUI checkpoints from two per year to two per month over the next two years. That’s roughly 60 checkpoints over this two year period. These funds are not coming from the current city budget, but rather a grant awarded to the city by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a nonprofit with a mission to improve health and safety concerns.
At this meeting data was presented showing that 87% of single-motorcycle accident fatalities in 2015 were drug or alcohol related. Named in the Council bill as “strategies for enforcement of impaired motorcycles” which would lead you to believe you are in the clear if you are driving any other type of vehicle. Currently checkpoints are set up in areas were many fatalities happen. However, going forward it was reported that the police will use data related to incidents involving motorcycles. Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security. The police cannot legally target only motorcycles therefore all vehicles will be at risk of these checkpoints. They will need to st
op all vehicles or use a pattern such as every third vehicle. These increased checkpoints are expected to begin around August of this year.
The public is to be notified of these checkpoints, but it’s not like they will send you a post card. You can check the City of Jacksonville’s website, coj.net, for “Traffic Safety and Enforcement Notices”. We have seen how little alcohol it can take for someone to blow over the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol concentration or BAC. You have just a few and feel completely fine, but can still easily blow over the legal limit. There are also what is called “field sobriety test”. When you are pulled over at one of these checkpoints the police are looking for signs to give them cause to administer one or more of these tests and if you fail these tests they will use them against you in court. It’s important to know your rights in these situations. All of these tests are voluntary. Many situations or health conditions can impact your results. If you find yourself in a situation like this remain calm and polite, but know your rights and ask to contact your Attorney at Fusco Law, 904-567-3113.