This Thursday night (March 10, 2011) the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint in Tampa, FL at the intersection of Wilsky Blvd. & Linebaugh Ave. in Citrus Park, Florida. The checkpoint will run from 10 PM to 5 AM. DUI Checkpoints typically involve law enforcement setting up a road block and checking every vehicle (or every x-th vehicle) on a public road and investigating the driver to determine if he or she is too impaired to drive. These checkpoints are frequently set up on weekends and late at night/early in the morning when a higher percentage of impaired drivers tend to be on the road.
The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution specifically states that the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This language would appear to make random DUI checkpoints illegal; however the United States Supreme Court found DUI Checkpoints to be a valid exercise of police power (not in violation of the Fourth Amendment) in Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz.
The fact that these checkpoints are considered legal under Sitz does not mean that you are automatically "guilty" if you are arrested for DUI after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. There are still many possible defenses to your case: were you read your Miranda rights? Was the stop conducted properly? Were Field Sobriety Exercises administered? Were you read Florida's Implied Consent law? These are all questions an experienced Tampa DUI lawyer will ask when building a defense to your case.
At Taracks & Associates we are former state prosecutors with the knowledge and experience to fight your case. If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI you must act fast - the State is building its case against you and your license will automatically be suspended after ten days if no action is taken. Contact our office today - a consultation with one of our experienced DUI trial lawyers is always free. Taracks & Associates - The Advocate For You.