Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Checkpoint on Friday, June 20, 2014

If you were arrested in Friday night’s DUI checkpoint in Brandon, Florida, give us a call to discuss your case. Many states have banned the use of checkpoints under their state constitution.

In Florida, the use of DUI checkpoints are highly regulated by the courts. As a result, the checkpoints are highly ineffective at catching impaired drivers. The checkpoints require dozens of officer and hours of set up and planning.

Even if a few arrests are made, the DUI checkpoint is a nightmare for judges and prosecutors because any mistake made during the checkpoint means that all of the arrests can be challenged as unconstitutional.

Possible challenges can result if the operational plan is not complete, officers in the field deviate from the plan, and details about the checkpoint are not announced in advance.

On June 19, 2014, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released press release number OP3D14-080.

The press release announced that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office would conduct a DUI roadblock (called the Operation 3D Comprehensive Roadside Safety Checkpoint) on Friday, July 20, 2014 at 10:00 p.m. until midnight.

The press release indicates that at the checkpoint, deputies with HCSO will be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

The law requires that in order for the DUI checkpoint to be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, certain details about the checkpoint must be announced to the public in advance.

The press release for the Operation 3D Comprehensive Roadside Safety Checkpoint does not give the location of the checkpoint.

Instead, it list four possible locations in Hillsborough County:

  • 5353 Gunn Highway;
  • 257 Brandon Boulevard W;
  • 5408 State Road 674; or
  • 4537 Lowell Road.
The press release indicates that Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be targeting roadways “in one of the above areas” in an effort to reduce the number of crashes and deter those who may violate motor vehicular traffic laws.
The DUI enforcement page on the HCSO website also did not indicate the location in advance:
Friday, Jun 20, 2014 Checkpoint 2200 hrs. to 0400 hrs. District I & II B.A.T. And Transportation Provided Location T.B.A.

It looks like HCSO actually conducted the DUI checkpoint at the 257 West Brandon Boulevard, Brandon, FL 33511 on the east end of State Road 60 and it ran past midnight.

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If you were stopped in the checkpoint, let us know what you saw. Did Tampa Cop Watch get video?

Learn more about Jason Sammis’ favorite DUI checkpoint in Pasco County a few years ago:

3 Comments

  1. flliberty
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 14:07 | Permalink | Reply

    Copwatcher Wally Sullivan arrested for nothing. They blocked off the sidewalk, so he went on the median and was filming quietly, then they just walked up to him and said he was under arrest for “disrupting the ckpoint” See: Photography is Not a Crime .com

    • lsammis
      Posted June 24, 2014 at 15:35 | Permalink | Reply

      Okay, thanks for letting me know. I’ll look at the website – http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/06/23/florida-man-arrested-video-recording-deputies-mishandling-checkpoint/

      How does HCSO think this is constitutional if they can’t tell the public the location? It seems like announcing four locations might not pass constitutional muster.

      You can see from the video that they are not following the plan and are not even counting the vehicles at one point. HCSO should just give up on checkpoints if they can’t do it in a constitutional manner. Just let the man video the checkpoint. Why can’t a person stand on the sidewalk and videotape? HCSO would save a lot of time and money if they would just let the public video tape the checkpoint.

      Also, HCSO could assign one officer to set up video of the count to show the number of cars being pulled over. HCSO doesn’t do that because it would show they mess up the count consistently. The entire thing is a joke that isn’t as funny when you watch it on video.

      But it would be very helpful to have a video showing when it starts, when it ends, the car count, and the set up of lights and cones at the scene. Also, it would be helpful to see the officers doing the count so they can be identified and HCSO can’t say they don’t know who violated the rules for the count. If HCSO refuses to video the checkpoint then it is nice that a citizen will do so.

  2. R. Dawes.
    Posted September 10, 2014 at 21:27 | Permalink | Reply

    As a retired Deputy with the HCSO and now an investigator for a defense firm, this is all about the money and their attempts to placate MADD. If David Gee was really concerned about crime and his deputies bad and diffident attitudes, he would do better things with the agencies time and manpower than go after a few DUI arrests.

    A while back I provided extensive evidence of criminal activity by a giant pill mill and all I got was the run around, and that was after the Major of Vice told me they would take care of it.

    And let’s not forget the deputy who was fired for making up stories and lying on DUI arrest reports a few years back.

    This is not the Sheriff’s Office of Walter Heinrich or Malcolm Beard…they did not condone such actions…

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