DUI Roadblocks in Florida

As you are driving along with your significant other or with friends in your car, you see emergency lights up ahead.  You slow down with traffic, and the multiple lane road you are on is merged into one lane because of traffic cones.  As you slowly proceed through the one lane, a police officer directs you into a large parking lot where you encounter another police officer. 

You roll down your window as directed, produce your Driver’s License and proof of insurance.  You are honest and cooperative when you tell the police you have been drinking.  You are asked to step out of the car, and to your surprise you end of arrested for DUI.  You weren’t speeding, you were driving carefully, but you were caught in a DUI roadblock.

If this has happened to you, call an experienced DUI Checkpoint Defense Attorney at Taracks & Associates for a Free Consultation today!

Police departments have been using DUI Roadblocks to trap DUI driver’s not only on Holidays but during all times of the year.  The United States Supreme Court authorized the use of DUI Roadblocks, and the Florida Supreme Court has done the same. 

DUI Roadblocks allow for the police to stop motorists without violating a driver’s 4th Amendment protection to be free from any unlawful searches or seizures.  Ordinarily an officer must either witness a violation of the Florida traffic laws, or have a legal reason (articulable reasonable suspicion of criminal activity) to pull someone over.

To be a lawful DUI Roadblock, the following written guidelines must be in place in lieu of the above requirements of some type of improper driving or other improper conduct:

  1. The selection of the vehicles – typically the plan will call for the stopping of every x# (2nd,3rd, 4th, etc.) vehicle,
  2. The detention techniques – are the selected vehicles stopped in the road or directed to a specific location where other officer’s will then follow the written procedures,
  3. the duty assignments – are there enough officers on hand to limit the time of the initial screening detention, as well as enough supervisors to properly manage the written plan, and
  4. The disposition of the vehicles must be provided for – all vehicles of anyone arrested must be safely accounted for, and not left unsecured in a large parking lot.

Without the above guidelines in writing, the DUI Roadblock will likely be considered improper. 

Anybody who was charged (DUI, DWLSR, Possession of Marijuana or other controlled substance, arrest for outstanding warrants, or any other charge arising out of the vehicle selection) because of the improper DUI Roadblock will likely be dismissed due to the unbridled discretion of the police involved.

These guidelines can be violated by either an insufficient operational plan, or by the officers not strictly adhering to the written operational plan.

At Taracks & Associates, we know where to find the written guidelines to evaluate not only the design of the DUI Roadblock operation, but also the actual steps the officers took in running the DUI Roadblock that you were caught up in.

A deposition is one of the best tools that we have to determine if the officers followed the operational design of the DUI Roadblock. 

Did you know that unless good cause is shown, a deposition of the officers involved in the DUI Roadblock is not permitted in County Court in Florida?  Without the ability to question the officers involved under oath, we are limited to just their written version of events to properly evaluate their conduct. The experienced DUI Defense Attorneys at Taracks & Associates, know how to question officers under oath despite this rule against depositions

Whenever a person is arrested for a DUI and either has a B.A.C. of .08% or higher, or refuses a breath test, that driver has a right to a Formal Review conducted by the DHMSV.  At this Formal Review, the officers involved in the DUI are compelled to appear and must answer relevant questions under oath about their activity relating to the driver’s DUI arrest. 

This must be done within 10 days of the DUI arrest.  Any later than that, this exceptional investigative tool is lost.

So, since time is of the essence, call Taracks & Associates today at 813-281-2897 for your Free Consultation.  We will discuss that facts of your case in order to fully scrutinize the DUI Roadblock that ruined your holiday season.  We will prepare the best available defense to protect our client’s freedom, reputation, and livelihood.

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