Despite a previous DUI arrest and the Florida media reporting on the exact whereabouts of DUI roadblocks, Jimmy Smith has been arrested for DUI for a second time. Both the DUI and accompanying Possession of Marijuana charge are misdemeanors–however it’s likely that State Prosecutors are aware that Smith’s prior 2001 DUI charge was dropped and will treat this DUI more like a second DUI.
Reports state that Smith was pulled over during a DUI roadblock, which under Florida law, holds law enforcement to higher standards than in a typical DUI arrest. DUI roadblock cases have additional legal requirements because of the driver’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizures. The fact is, unlike a normal DUI case–where cops are either called to the scene of an accident or stop an individual for a traffic infraction–in a DUI roadblock situation, a driver, for no reason other than traveling on a road, is stopped and questioned momentarily without cause. This police stop triggers constitutional protections that requires the State of Florida to, among other things: (1) show the reasons why they set up a DUI roadblock, (2) establish consistent policy and procedures for the operation of the roadblock, (3) state the goal of the operation, and (4) provide an adequate amount of protection to the citizens, i.e. not stopping every driver that falls upon the roadblock route. The last question is the most scrutinized, as courts and legal scholars have often argued that roadblocks create a chilling effect on citizens’ freedom to travel in the community–a right the U.S Supreme Court has established as a fundamental constitutional right.