Tampa Bay, Florida could soon be the next community to have “no refusal” DUI checkpoints if Mothers Against Drunk Driving and its supporters are able to convince local leaders. A “no refusal” DUI checkpoint is the same as a normal checkpoint, except that a judge will be present on site in case any drivers refuse a breathalyzer test. After refusal, the judge will issue a warrant that allows the police to perform a blood test on-site. These checkpoints are already being implemented in several Florida counties and Hillsborough County MADD member Linda Unfried is working hard to bring it to the Tampa Bay area.
Local DUI lawyer Kevin Hayslett believes the mandatory blood test is a violation of constitutional rights and suggests that imposing them on people at the check point is disconcerting. Hayslett further suggests that these blood tests are particularly severe, explaining that it is the only misdemeanor offense “where the government can forcefully put a needle in your arm.” However, Unfried contends that these checkpoints will be heavily advertised and that the primary goal is to deter drunk driving, not charge and convict more people of DUI’s.
Supporters hope to see these checkpoints implemented as soon as October, though they still have quite a way to go before they are approved. If implemented, these “no refusal” checkpoints could set a precedent for other cities and states.