The Broward Sheriff’s Office, along with partnering law enforcement agencies, will conduct a DUI enforcement with sobriety checkpoint operation from 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 to 5 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, at 1701 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Oakland Park, according to BSO public information officer Dani Moschella, late Thursday.
The purpose of the checkpoint is to detect and apprehend intoxicated drivers who are an immediate threat to public safety and to make sure motorists have the proper vehicle documents including driver license, registration and insurance. Deputies will strive to delay motorists only momentarily
DUI checkpoints are a proven enforcement tool effective in reducing the number of persons injured or killed in alcohol involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of (20) percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough.
“Remember never to operate a vehicle or a vessel when you are under the influence,” stated Broward Sheriff Scott Israel in a prepared release. “It’s the fastest way to turn a terrific weekend into a tragedy.”
For those enjoying the water this Labor Day weekend, please remember that Florida leads the nation in boating deaths. Boaters should always wear personal flotation devices, and vessels are required by law to have one for every person on board. Children on boats are required by state law to wear them at all times. The same goes for water skiers and people operating personal watercraft.
“Being charged with a DUI is a frightening and confusing time for many people. Many people fear they will go to jail, lose their job, their driver’s license, or be socially outcast by family and friends,” criminal defense attorney Gerald T. Roden, told EyesOnNews. “Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that often exceed $10,000.”
A decision by the Florida Supreme Court requires law enforcement to publicize DUI checkpoints. While it has been widely argued that DUI roadblocks and sobriety checkpoints are violations of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution – being stopped without probable cause or a search warrant – they are in fact legal in the United States and specifically in Florida ((483 So.2d 433 (Fla. 1985). Because of this, law enforcement agencies have established guidelines to notify the public that a DUI checkpoint will be conducted in specific locations at certain times.
The legality of a DUI with sobriety checkpoint was established by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990). While the Supreme Court acknowledged that DUI roadblocks infringe on the 4th Amendment, Chief Justice Rehnquist argued that the state interest in reducing driving under the influence outweighed the infringement, and that sobriety checkpoints were in fact effective and necessary. Upon notifying the public of a sobriety check point location and time, this helps to fulfill the obligation “of being stopped without probable cause or having a search warrant”. This notification is usually completed by means of advertisement to a local newspaper or by means of a radio broadcast. With the proliferation of social media – such as Facebook and Twitter – this announcement is also placed online through the law enforcement agency page.
“As you make your plans for celebrating Labor Day weekend, the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office want to remind you to make it a safe holiday, whether you are a driver or a boater,” stated Moschella. “Deputies will be out on the roadways and waterways looking for impaired drivers and aggressive drivers.”
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