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Brian S. Leifert, Esq.
Douglas I. Leifert, Esq.

Ft. Lauderdale DUI Checkpoints

Law enforcement officers in Ft. Lauderdale have a really good working knowledge as to where the hotspots are for DUIs. A person may typically see a DUI checkpoint in or around an area that is commonly known for entertainment with a lot of bars or restaurants and big tourist destinations. Many DUI checkpoints in South Florida are on the beach, near the beach, or on the major arteries that go to or from these entertainment/tourist areas. Main arteries such as federal highway or US1 have a lot of DUI checkpoints. They are often found on Oakland Park Boulevard in the Ft. Lauderdale area.

Law enforcement attempt to mix it up because they want to catch drivers off-guard. When a person knows where the DUI checkpoints are, they can try to avoid them and prepare for them. With that said, there are many restrictions on DUI checkpoints, a lot of constitutional restrictions. The United States Supreme Court mandated that law enforcement announces in advance when and where their checkpoints are going to be located. In reality, people rarely see those reports.

Process

The difference between a Ft. Lauderdale DUI checkpoint and a regular or ordinary DUI is that in a non-checkpoint case, law enforcement officers need a reason to stop somebody or pull somebody over. Examples of valid reasons to stop a driver are when they are weaving; speeding, driving too slowly, or they remain stopped at a green light.

In a DUI checkpoint, a person is usually funneled into a “lane squeeze.” The officers cannot stop every car and they must have a systematic method and apply it the whole way through. They usually stop every third car, for example, and a person who may have done nothing wrong but will be subject to law enforcement scrutiny. Hopefully, it is a good night and the officer lets the driver continue on. However, when a person had too much to drink, is driving perfectly, and is caught up in a DUI checkpoint, if the officer smells an odor of alcohol on that person’s breath, there is a chance that they could be charged with a DUI. While someone believes that they can drink, handle their liquor, and drive, that is not a really good approach because they could still have a problem if they are caught up in a DUI checkpoint.

Attitude Toward DUI Cases

Jurisdictions routinely operate DUI checkpoints in the Fort Lauderdale areas, which require a lot of signage along the way on the light boards and notifications. Some of the service plazas on the Florida Turnpike may have messages regarding DUI enforcement. There are videos where a person pumps gas warning drivers about the penalties they face if caught driving under the influence in the state of Florida. Ft. Lauderdale DUI checkpoints are common and it is essential to know what to expect to best handle a checkpoint.

Jurisdictions routinely operate DUI checkpoints in the Fort Lauderdale areas, which require a lot of signage along the way on the light boards and notifications. Some of the service plazas on the Florida Turnpike may have messages regarding DUI enforcement. There are videos where a person pumps gas warning drivers about the penalties they face if caught driving under the influence in the state of Florida. Ft. Lauderdale DUI checkpoints are common and it is essential to know what to expect to best handle a checkpoint.

Constitutional Issues

In a Ft Lauderdale DUI checkpoint, the law enforcement officers would need to have a systematic method of stopping vehicles. The most common method used by law enforcement officers is to stop every third vehicle so that there is no arbitrary basis on under which they actually tell people to pull over or stop.

A general rule is that a law enforcement officer needs a lawful basis to stop somebody or pull somebody over. If not, that is a potential violation of the United States Constitution, specifically the Fourth Amendment, which protects an individual against unlawful search and/or seizure. A law enforcement officer needs a reasonable suspicion of unlawful activity.

The United States Supreme Court, along with the Florida Superior Court, have set up a multitude of safeguards and rulings whereby law enforcement has to follow certain criteria for the checkpoint to meet constitutional guidelines. They have to notify the public in advance when and where the checkpoints are going to be conducted, via newspaper, radio, or television. The checkpoint has to be clearly marked with cones and lights, and there has to be a certain degree of personnel on the scene to supervise everything to make sure that all the rules are being followed. Law enforcement must also meet in advance of the checkpoint, with all other law enforcement personnel. Paperwork must be filed, reports filed, and constitutional requirements must be met, in order to make a checkpoint lawful. If this criterion is not followed correctly and people are arrested for a DUI offense, they may be later acquitted due to a violation of their constitutional rights.

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

Leifert & Leifert Criminal Defense

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1200 S Pine Island Rd #220 Plantation, FL 33324
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