Roadblocks or “Roadside Safety Checkpoints” as they are referred to by law enforcement are legal only if the police follow the rules. Yes, the Constitution does still apply as do the laws of the State of Florida, even though it certainly does not feel like it or a particular law enforcement officer’s god complex has raised its ugly head. In order to be legal, they have to have followed several steps including publishing an operational plan, communicating the plan and then actually complying with the operational plan.
The inspiration for this blog was that the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) announced that it will set up a roadblock or checkpoint along with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), University of Florida Police Department (UFPD), High Springs Police Department (HSPD) and City of Alachua’s Police Department (APD) on Friday, June 26th, 2015, at 3200 SW Archer Road in the westbound lanes between 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM.
According to GPD’s announcement, they are looking for people who are driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages and those driving without a valid driver’s license. They claimed that “[d]rivers who are able to provide a valid driver’s license upon first contact will be allowed through the checkpoint without any further delay. Suspected impaired drivers will not be allowed to leave the checkpoint unless a lawful level of sobriety is confirmed.” This implies that they will be running the driver license through the police database and removing anyone who smells like alcohol or drugs in order to do a DUI investigation. They will surely also find marijuana and people impaired by other drugs such as prescriptions.
I have never heard of a person with an active warrant being allowed to leave a roadblock/checkpoint. Surely, if a warrant is detected, that person will be arrested. Likewise, several people will be cited for driving without a license, no valid license, failure to display, driving with a suspended license, driving outside restrictions, and other civil and criminal traffic violations.
If you or a loved one is caught up in this or any other roadblock/checkpoint click, call or fill out the form to hire a lawyer today. The firm represents people in all criminal and traffic violations.