Apparently the politicians are learning what most of us have known at least since the advent of the cell phone: The locations of sobriety checkpoints are no secret. What has them up in arms — to the point where four Senators have fired off a letter to the nation’s cell phone makers — is the fact that there is now a cell phone app that will tell you the location of drunk driving roadblocks, according to FOX News.
Our Broward DUI defense lawyers know that sobriety checkpoints have little or no impact on preventing drunk driving. State statistics show that significantly less than 1 percent of drunk driving arrests in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in South Florida are the result of sobriety checkpoints.
Cell phones have been used to spread the word for a generation. In fact, it is safe to say that law enforcement rarely has a checkpoint established but what everyone who needs to avoid it already knows about it. Now Facebook and Twitter are often used to spread the word. The result is frequently car stops involving the unwitting and the unlucky, which typically results in marginal or unfair arrests.
In the bad old days of the 1980s it was just left to the bartenders to shout it out — or the band.
Now Apple’s App Store sells Buzzed for 99 cents. Checkpointer for $4.99 and Tipsy for free. Phantom Alert unveiled a DUI checkpoint feature as far back as 2009. The letter from the senators puts cell phone companies on notice that they are helping motorists to break the law and could be contributing to the risk of drunk driving accidents. The makers of the apps counter that if deterring motorists from driving drunk is the goal of checkpoints, spreading the work helps accomplish that mission.
Motorists charged as a result of a DUI checkpoint should consult an attorney in Broward or Palm Beach right away. Because such roadblocks infringe upon your Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the courts have place strict limitations on the actions of law enforcement. As a result, there are more ways to challenge DUI checkpoint arrests in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere, than there are to challenge a traditional arrest for drunk driving in South Florida.
If you are facing criminal charges in Broward or Palm Beach counties, contact the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, a Partnership of Former Prosecutors, for a free consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1.888.5.DEFEND.