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Sheriff Plans DUI Checkpoint Saturday at SR100 East of Old Kings Road Saturday Night

| August 27, 2015

dui checkpoints fourth amendment police state

Your papers please. (Greg Matthews)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office will establish a police checkpoint in the westbound lanes of State Road 100, east of Old Kings Road, Saturday evening starting at 8 p.m. and running through 4 a.m. Sunday.


The checkpoint authorizes deputies to pull over any driver–with or without probable cause–ask questions and, if necessary, take the proceedings further. Deputies are required to remain within certain parameters, however, as set out by the state Supreme Court and local policy. See the sheriff’s guidelines below. (Passengers in a vehicle, for example, are not required to produce ID on demand: it is not illegal to be drunk. It is only illegal to be drunk and to drive at the same time. Only drivers are required to produce their driver’s license and other papers.)

The checkpoint, a sheriff’s release states, is part of the sheriff’s office’s continued effort to “curb traffic fatalities, injuries and crashes and to emphasize our commitment to make county roadways safe.”

But drivers may be charged for a host of issues that have nothing to do with drunk driving, including drug possession or for non-moving violations such as non-functioning headlights or tail lights or irregular registration. The checkpoints typically result in far fewer arrests for drunk driving than for other reasons, and of course most people stopped, questioned or searched are cleared. Not all vehicles that drive through the zone are asked to pull over.

When deputies last erected a checkpoint, last Dec. 19 at the same spot, 208 vehicles passed through the checkpoint with an average delay of 1 minute and 48 seconds per vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. The checkpoint netted just four DUI arrests. A fifth DUI arrest, made elsewhere, was processed at the checkpoint. In all, deputies issued 14 written warnings, five non-moving uniform traffic citations, two moving violation citations, one open-container violation, and five criminal uniform traffic citations.

Reefer madness being what it is in this and many other counties, deputies could not resist also making two arrests for marijuana possession.

In comparison, last Labor Day’s broader traffic enforcement by deputies across all Palm Coast and Flagler roads netted 247 traffic stops, 43 Uniform Traffic Citations and 204 written or verbal warnings, and a total of 25 arrests, just three of which for drunk driving.

“Motorists,” the sheriff’s office advises, “can help to remove impaired drivers from the roadways by calling 9-1-1 immediately any time they observe a vehicle they suspect may be operated by an impaired driver. They are also urged to routinely check their vehicle’s safety equipment to ensure compliance and reduce their chances of being involved in a crash.”

This check should include taking a walk around the vehicle to visually observe the tires. Tire pressure should be routinely checked with a quality tire pressure gauge. Checking turn signals, headlights and brake lights. Checking the horn and windshield wipers. Checking all the vehicle’s fluid levels. If a child restraint seat is in your vehicle, check it each time before use.

The checkpoint operation is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. In 2013, the FCSO received $70,000 from the FDOT to fund a similar initiative aimed at taking intoxicated drivers off roadways.

But police must abide by certain rules, too.

“The requirement of written guidelines is not merely a formality,” Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal ruled. “Rather, it is the method this Court and others have chosen to ensure that the police do not act with unbridled discretion in exercising the power to stop and restrain citizens who have manifested no conduct that would otherwise justify an intrusion on a citizen’s liberty. In this country the police are not vested with the general authority to set up ‘routine’ roadblocks at any time or place. Rather, law enforcement was placed on notice by our holding in [a previous case] that the stopping and detaining of a citizen is a serious matter that requires particularized advance planning and direction and strict compliance thereafter.”

The Flagler sheriff’s policy and guidelines are below.

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22 Responses for “Sheriff Plans DUI Checkpoint Saturday at SR100 East of Old Kings Road Saturday Night”

  1. THE VOICE OF REASON says:

    I would think Saturday would be the best day for a Saturday night DUI check. ;-)

  2. for the community says:

    Don’t open your window or door no matter what, do not speak at all, and have your correct paper work hanging on the outside of window. Be sure to record the whole thing. Know your rights. Would be nice if we can coordinate 50 to 100 people to travel threw the block in this manner.

    • Geezer says:

      It’s better to smile and greet the deputy with your hands on the wheel, ignition off.
      Being friendly and polite works better. 99.9 times out of 100 you drive away without
      issues, and without pissing a cop off.

      I read PINAC AND COPBLOCK, and they advise same as you.
      But I think that angering cops is a dangerous and foolhardy practice.

  3. Gladfly says:

    These things are illegal.

  4. Gladfly says:

    They can’t stop you unless they suspect you of a crime nor ask for ID.

  5. Where's the Beef says:

    Its Po-Po revenue scheme time again. County lost out on the Princess Preserve Spartan Race so now their going to get even with the citizens by Nazi harassment . This place is a Pretend Paradise County. I’ve lived in major cities 40 years ago that were not this draconian…..Don’t “Feed the Pig”, stay away from shopping centers, stores, restaurants, beach. Don’t give them any reason to go “NAZI” on you !!!

  6. RickG says:

    So we should all bow down to the 2nd Amendment people and allow everyone access to firearms but I guess the 4th Amendment…. well that can go to hell.

    • just me says:

      EVERYONE nope not everyone should have access or own one AND yes it would be nice if Government understood the Constitution and the limits it place upon it.

  7. Anominity ike says:

    I agree. Know your rights. You don’t have to roll o roll down window or the doors.

  8. theevoice says:

    dont be a criminal and you have no worries..have a nice day!!!

  9. Nicole says:

    Have to love all of the “legal experts” who gained their J.D. from the Internet School of Law. I guess the ISL fails to inform everyone about the exceptions to the 4th Amendment. Checkpoints fall under the “special needs” exception and therefore, do not constitute a search. Besides that, that the expectation of privacy in a vehicle is much lower while driving on thoroughfares in comparison to your domicile or “castle.” Checkpoints are not illegal when used reasonably. If the primary purpose is preventing drunk driving, it is a reasonable interest. The circumstances surrounding a checkpoint stop & search are far less intrusive than a patrol stop. See: Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz. If the stop was setup for the discovery of illegal narcotics, then there would be a Constitutional issue. See: City of Indianapolis v. Edmond. As long as the stops are properly conducted there is no problem. Last but not least, asking for general information such as your name or license is not a 5th Amendment violation either. It a requirement to be licensed if you drive in Florida and general questions do not qualify as “testimonial, incriminating and compelled” statements when the person is not being interrogated.

    If the law was so easy to interpret, everyone would be a lawyer! Don’t like the laws? Write to your governmental representative, write to the Supreme Court, don’t drink and drive, or better yet, just stay off Old Kings Rd Saturday!

  10. Anon says:

    Man… are you guys paranoid.

  11. Jason says:

    “your papers fraulein”, the police act more like Nazis everyday.

  12. just me says:

    Why say where its going to happen???

  13. Ray Thorne says:

    I was under the impression that having a drivers license and operating a motor vehicle was a privilege and not a “right”. What people do have a right to is not to be maimed or killed by those who wish to partake in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and then get behind the wheel of a car putting their lives and the lives of others at risk…if people didn’t do that then there’d be no reason for these occasional check points. If you are not one of those people then have no fear..

    • FlaglerLive says:

      Ray, contrary to a common misconception, driving is in fact a right, not a privilege, as recognized by Circuit Judge Janet C. Thorpe in a 2002 opinion for Florida’s ninth circuit in orange County. Thorpe wrote: “Although the Florida statutes use the term “driving privileges,” this does not mean that driving is a “privilege” rather than a “right.” The court recognizes that in Sherbert v. Verner, 374 US 398 (1963), the U.S. Supreme Court stated that the distinction between privilege and right is not meaningful when the benefit in question, i.e., being able to drive a car and thereby conduct normal life activities, is the same.”

      • Ray Thorne says:

        if driving is a “Right” then no one should need to obtain a license to do so. Maybe the “Right” is construed with the idea that one can’t be denied the same privilege as another so long as they are capable? If it’s my right to drive I should be able to jump in any unregistered, uninsured vehicle while not having a drivers license and there shouldn’t be anything anyone can do about it because I’m exercising a right. But that isn’t the case.

  14. groot says:

    The ones who get nabbed aren’t either bright enough or sober enough to read this article.

  15. Dave says:

    I see the people are out with no clue what their talking about. These checkpoint are legal.

    Sobriety checkpoints are legal in Florida (see 483 So.2d 433 (Fla. 1985).

    Doesn’t a police officer need to have probable cause before stopping someone?

    Yes, the Constitution requires that a police officer have probable cause for a traffic stop. But the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the dangers from drunk driving outweigh the “degree of intrusion” of sobriety checkpoints and they are an exception to the search and seizure provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

    Look it up

    IF you have nothing to hide, except that open container, your high on drugs, your plain drunk, your driving with an expired tag or license, you got drugs in your car your SOL.

  16. David B says:

    You do not have to answer any question. Just show him the required papers. If you answer some questions, and not others, you could raise suspicions. Just keep quite and be cooperative.

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