Most Florida DUI lawyers don’t care for Roadblocks or Checkpoints, as Florida law enforcement is empowered with so many other more specific tactics to focus on DUI arrests. However, the Supreme Court has allowed these types of warrantless stops under certain provisions and the Ocala Star-Banner is reporting another will occur very soon.
The Ocala and Belleview Police Departments will be out on Friday and Saturday at the 3800 block of East State Road 40 at 7:30 p.m. and will last until early Saturday.
Florida law holds law enforcement to higher standards than in a typical DUI arrest. DUI roadblock cases have additional legal requirements because of the driver’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizures. The fact is, unlike a normal DUI case, where cops are either called to the scene of an accident or stop an individual for a traffic infraction; in a DUI roadblock situation, a driver, for no reason other than traveling on a road, is stopped and questioned momentarily without cause. This police stop triggers constitutional protections that requires the State of Florida to, among other things: (1) show the reasons why they set up a DUI roadblock, (2) establish consistent policy and procedures for the operation of the roadblock, (3) state the goal of the operation, and (4) provide an adequate amount of protection to the citizens, i.e. not stopping every driver that falls upon the roadblock route. The last question is the most scrutinized, as courts and legal scholars have often argued that roadblocks create a chilling effect on citizens’ freedom to travel in the community—a right the U.S. Supreme Court has established as a fundamental constitutional right.