DUI Checkpoints Catch Sober Drivers

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A DUI checkpoint in Clearwater resulted in 19 arrests, but only 8 of them were for drunk driving. DUI defense lawyer David Katz says that sober motorists are often ticketed for lesser violations.

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At a checkpoint, you get pulled over first and then police look for something that might be wrong.

A “sobriety checkpoint” in April was just the latest in a string of roadblock style DUI crackdowns. The checkpoint resulted in 19 arrests, but less than half of them were for drunk driving – a statistic that DUI defense lawyer David Katz says should worry sober drivers.

The checkpoint ran for 5 hours starting at 10 p.m. and resulted in 8 DUI arrests, 11 other arrests and a dozen impounded vehicles, according to the Tampa Bay Times (04.06.2013). The other arrests included charges from license violations to drug possession.

Katz is certified by the Florida Bar Association as a DUI Defense Expert and is the co-founder of criminal defense law firm Katz & Phillips. He says that the road blocks are indiscriminate and frequently result in safe drivers getting ticketed or arrested.

“If you said we're going to do an all-night roadblock to ticket people for expired license plate tabs, there'd be a public outrage,” Katz said. “But if you say the roadblock is to stop drunk drivers, no one objects.”

In a sobriety checkpoint, all cars passing through a certain stretch of road are stopped and driver's licenses are checked. Katz says that gives police officers an opportunity to question and even search cars that would normally never be pulled over.

“Drivers aren't used to military-style checkpoints,” Katz said. “Normally in the United States you have to do something wrong for police to pull you over. At a checkpoint, you get pulled over first and then police look for something that might be wrong.”

Katz said anyone ticketed or arrested at a checkpoint should speak to an attorney.

About David Katz:
David S. Katz is a Tampa DUI lawyer and a founding partner of Katz & Phillips, PA. Nationally recognized as leader in DUI defense, he has trained other attorneys in defense strategies for DUI cases and has suppressed breath and blood evidence in hundreds of cases. He can be contacted at:

Katz & Phillips, PA
620 East Twiggs Street
Suite 207
Tampa, Florida 33602

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