According to reports from Ocala.com, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Florida Highway Patrol, set up a DUI checkpoint on South Magnolia Avenue Friday night.
Law enforcement reported that of the 440 cars that passed through the area, four drivers were given traffic infraction citations; there was one arrest for DUI and one arrest for driving while license is suspended or revoked; one arrest for possession of marijuana; and one citation given for having an open alcohol container in the car.
Florida Law Enforcement has a manual that establishes policies and procedures for DUI checkpoints. (FDLE DUI Checkpoint manual can be found here.) For example, an operational plan for the checkpoint must be put in writing 10 days prior to the checkpoint date. And, according to this manual, “a driver’s effort to avoid a checkpoint is not sufficient to justify the stopping of a vehicle. Probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or other traffic related violations must occur in order to warrant the stopping of a vehicle.” The failure of law enforcement to follow the procedures set out in this manual may call into question the validity of checkpoint and render any arrests arising from the stop illegal.
The Marion County DUI attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC have handled thousands of DUI cases for clients arrested at DUI checkpoints as well at other traffic stops. Because of our vast experience, our attorneys know the constitutional rights and defenses a person charged with DUI may have and are prepared to fight for you in court. If you have been arrested for a Marion County DUI, please contact us online or call 352-726-0078 for a consultation.