The Hudson Law Office
Aggressive Defense of DUI Cases
Sarasota/Bradenton (941) 957-0500 - Key West (305) 292-8384
Sarasota, Bradenton and Key West, Florida
The Hudson Law Office Fighting for the Privacy Rights of Every Citizen!
On October 26, 2010, the Sarasota County Court, for the second time in two years, invalidated the guidelines used by the police to justify stopping citizens at DUI roadblocks. And for the second time in two years, it was the Hudson Law Office which led the assault on these un-American infringements on our freedom.
This go-round, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office had decided to force drivers to give a breath sample, even after they had been fully investigated and been found to be unimpaired. This is flagrantly illegal. In the United States, the police cannot simply demand that citizens submit to a search of their bodies--and a breath test is a search. The Guidelines authorized the police to take the keys away from any citizen who refused to give them a breath sample, even though they had already been determined to be okay to drive!
Moreover, the roadblock guidelines required police to demand that citizens tell them where they were going and where they were coming from, and directed the police to threaten the citizen with a charge of Obstruction if he or she refused to answer.
This is the United States of America. Citizens do not have to tell police where they are heading or where they are coming from. Period. No court in the country has ever upheld that sort of intrusion into the private affairs of citizens. In short, it's none of their business where I'm going or where I'm coming from. And they CAN NOT charge me with Obstruction for failure to give them information to which they have no right.
This is by far a more serious defect than the Roadblock Guidelines which were overturned last year by the Hudson Law Office. Last year's case simply involved giving too much discretion to officers in the field to change the terms of the roadblock. This year's case displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the limits of the power of the police in a free country. It is especially frightening that the Sarasota Sheriff's Office tried to justify their actions by arguing that "the dangers of drunk drivers more than offsets the infringement on personal liberties." (Sarasota Herald Tribune, November 4, 2010).
Well, if the danger of drunk drivers justifies ignoring the constitution, then what about rapists? Murderers? Terrorists? By this logic, we would soon live in a police state. We are Americans. We are willing to accept some danger to retain our constitutional liberties.
Read the story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Or see it here.
On Sunday, November 7, Herald Tribune columnist Tom Lyons commented on our efforts to keep the police honest in the pursuit of DUI convictions. Read it here.
Monday, November 8, the Sarasota Herald Tribune printed an editorial supporting our attempts to make sure that the police act legally in combatting DUI. Read it here.
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