The whole state is promoting a ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ to coincide with Halloween, and Charlotte County is pulling out the stops. Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is planning ‘Low-Manpower Checkpoints” in different places throughout the county over several days, starting Oct. 26 through Oct. 31. All law enforcement will certainly be on high alert, as there is a lot of drinking and driving around all holidays, but Halloween in particular, and a there are a lot of children out.
The Low-Manpower checkpoints create an additional concern for police intrusions. All checkpoints involve stopping a lot of innocent drivers to potentially catch a few impaired drivers. CCSO uses the low-manpower checkpoints to save money and still be able to stop as many drivers as possible. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a series of checkpoints that were more than a couple of weekend nights, though that doesn’t inherently make them flawed. I do have concern, as I have successfully challenged the Charlotte County low-manpower checkpoints in court before. One of my first defense cases involved a motion to suppress such a checkpoint, aka a roadblock, which was ruled in my favor on appeal. That because the Guy v. State case that literally ended up causing hundreds of bad police stops around the state to be thrown out for bad checkpoints and/or bad checkpoint plans. The police are allowed to randomly stop people in the form of a checkpoint, but the guidelines they follow are stringent and must be adhered to, due to the concern of police unfairly stopping innocent drivers without cause.