DUI Checkpoints & Saturation Patrols in Florida

If you live in Hillsborough County or anywhere in Florida, you’ve probably heard of DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols. What’s the difference between a checkpoint and a saturation patrol? During a DUI checkpoint, law enforcement officers evaluate drivers for signs of impairment due to alcohol or drugs.

With DUI checkpoints, the officers stop vehicles in a specific sequence, such as every other vehicle or every other fourth or fifth vehicle and so on. Usually, the frequency of which vehicles are stopped depends on the available manpower to staff a checkpoint.

On the other hand, saturation patrols refer to increased law enforcement effort, which targets a specific area to identify and arrest impaired drivers. For example, each July and December, law enforcement across the nation step up their DUI enforcement efforts since DUI arrests and accidents occur more frequently in the summer and around the holidays.

The reason why you will see more saturation patrols during July is because Fourth of July is the nation’s second biggest holiday for DUI arrests and accidents, second only to New Year’s.

Are DUI checkpoints legal?

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association®, many jurisdictions use DUI checkpoints as a part of their larger, anti-drinking and driving campaign. But are they legal? Not all states legalize DUI checkpoints, while other states have laws which authorize their use.

In Florida, DUI checkpoints are legal, and they are upheld under the federal Constitution; they are also legal in our neighboring states, Georgia and Alabama.

Operation 3D in Hillsborough County

There is a public awareness plan called Operation 3D, which was designed to help the Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office so it could better deal with drunk driving. Operation 3D encourages the voluntary compliance of the state’s existing traffic laws.

Under Operation 3D, news releases will be disseminated, and public service announcements and materials are being developed, all of which serve to enhance local law enforcement’s efforts.

As a part of Operation 3D, on Friday, July 3, 2015, the Sheriff’s Office had a “heightened patrol” in District II – Eastern Hillsborough County, and on Saturday, July 4, 2015, there was a saturation patrol in Western Hillsborough County.

Need a DUI attorney in Tampa?

If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint over Fourth of July weekend, or as a part of a saturation patrol in Hillsborough County, contact a Tampa DUI lawyer from Thomas & Paulk for a strong defense!