Holiday DUI Enforcement — Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer
According to experienced Broward County DUI attorney William Moore, holidays are always a favorite time for law enforcement agencies to crack down on DUI enforcement. For example, you may have heard radio announcements around New Year’s Eve, Labor Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July. These are usually put on by the local police department or the county sheriff and frequently announce DUI checkpoints.
Recently, DUI enforcement has been up in Broward County due to the Labor Day weekend. Starting more than two weeks in advance, six law enforcment agencies began conducting sobriety checkpoints throughout the county. Law enforcement officers from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the local police departments in Plantation, Hollywood, Wilton Manors, and Hallandale Beach set up sobriety patrols in Broward.
Law enforcement says these operations are necessary to protect the public. Last year, more than 875 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents in Florida. Of those, 29 occurred over the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend, which is a popular time for tourists to travel to south Florida. Likewise, locals in Broward County like to go out and have a good time with friends and family for the holiday.
Unfortunately, Broward DUI attorney William Moore notes that the sobriety checkpoints are not the most effective method of conducting enforcement against driving under the influence, and that these operations tend to be tremendous moneymakers for local police departments. Typically, these checkpoints net very few actually intoxicated drivers, but yield many lucrative citations for other violations. For example, although a driver appears totally sober, he may have an expired driver’s license or tag, have an out of date insurance card in the glove compartment, or similar.
Sobriety checkpoints are invasive for all motorists and as a result, the law enforcement agency operating the checkpoint must comply with a specific set of guidelines in order to render any evidence obtained admissible in a criminal court. If the agency does not comply with all of the rules, the charges will be dismissed. Advance publicity of the checkpoint is required. The officers must have a formula for stopping vehicles, rather than simply stopping them randomly or only stopping the ones that they think look suspicious. For instance, they can stop every vehicle, or every other vehicle, or every seventh vehicle, but they cannot deviate from the formula.
Be careful out there and remember that if you are asked if it’s okay to search your vehicle — it’s your right to say no!