Sept. 1 arguments before the Florida court on the question may be made moot by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, expected in June, on the same issue. U.S. Justices were skeptical of breath tests.
Florida Justices, in a 5-2 decision, rejected an appeal from a driver stopped by Orlando police because a tag light and wires were hanging over the license plate on a vehicle he was driving.
The checkpoints typically result in far fewer arrests for drunk driving than for other reasons: drivers may charged with a host of issues that have nothing to do with drunk driving, including for drug possession or for non-moving violations such as non-functioning headlights or tail lights or irregular registration.
The U.S. argues that the country will be less safe if the proper authorities have no “backdoor” – a piece of code that lets them in. Software engineers call backdoors “vulnerabilities,” deliberate efforts to weaken security.
The checkpoints, which must follow strict guidelines, will be located at Palm Coast Pkwy NW and Frontage Road as well as State Road 100, East of Old Kings Road.
ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon, who blamed the governor and the Legislature for the cost to taxpayers, blasted Scott for refusing to back down as the governor mulls appealing the latest decision calling his ploy unconstitutional.
Susan Jones, for more than seven years a home owner on Palm Coast’s Ferdinand Lane, was arrested when she attempted to refuse entry to deputies who wanted to serve an arrest warrant on another woman staying in Jones’s house.
Sophia Zhudro is the 30-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s B-Section who was arrested on Jan. 24 for marijuana possession as she was parked with her 15-month-old on the side of a residential street in her neighborhood. She tells her side of the story, taking issue with the way the incident was related by police.
Lawyers for Scott filed a petition this week asking the Supreme Court to hear the case, after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled against across-the-board drug testing, but various groups blasted the Scott administration for continuing to pursue the drug tests. They pointed to repeated past rulings against such drug testing.
In a harshly worded, 30-page opinion, the judge concluded that “there is no set of circumstances under which the warrantless, suspicionless drug testing at issue in this case could be constitutionally applied.”