DUI Arrest by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department

The Broward County Sheriff's Office has established a D.U.I. Task Force, comprised of specially trained deputies who are assigned specifically to the enforcement of traffic and D.U.I. statutes. Whenever practical, officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department will seek the assistance of the BSO, D.U.I. Task Force to conduct a DUI investigation.

When conducting DUI investigations, the officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department follow standard operating procedures. One of the best ways to understand the tactics used by these officers is to read their standard operating procedures and training materials.

The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. are familiar with the tactics used by officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the DUI Task Force of the Broward County Sheriff's Office. After your arrest for DUI in Ft. Lauderdale or the surrounding areas of Broward County, call the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to discuss your case.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (954) 716-8538 today.


Procedures for DUI Cases by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department

The standard operating procedures published by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department describe practices and procedures to be used in performing DUI investigations, arrests, necessary forms, and the use of the Broward County Sheriff's Office Breath Alcohol Testing (B.A.T.) Unit or DUI Task Force Deputies. The procedures were last revised in October of 2013.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has published their standard operating procedures for DUI investigations. After making personal observations, the officer believes they are dealing with an impaired driver, that officer may request that a BSO D.U.I. Task Force deputy respond to their location. Those observations may include, but are not limited to:

  • the manner in which the suspect was operating and/or controlling a motor vehicle;
  • the suspect's balance, speech, eyes, and clothing; and
  • any odor of an alcoholic beverage.

If no Task Force deputy is available, the officer with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department will conduct the DUI investigation. Officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department are trained to identify and observe suspected impaired drivers as they operate motor vehicle.

If a deputy from the Broward Sheriff’s Task Force is available, the officer will detain the suspect in a manner, which ensures the safety of the officer and the safety of the suspect and their property. This may include handcuffing the suspect and/or the placing of the suspect in the rear of the police unit.

Upon the arrival of the deputy with the BSO DUI Task Force, the officer will:

  • Remand the suspect to the deputy for testing;
  • Remain on scene as a back-up for the deputy; and
  • Assist the deputy as required.

If the deputy determines there is not enough Probable Cause to effect an arrest after administering field sobriety exercises, the officer will issue all appropriate traffic citations to the suspect and release the motorist at the scene.

Should the deputy effect an arrest for DUI, the officer will issue any appropriate traffic citations to the suspect and turn the entire citation, minus the blue DHSMV copy, to the deputy for inclusion with the deputy's paperwork. The DHSMV copy of the citations shall be turned into Records for entry in the Records Management System (RMS).

The officer must complete a DUI Report regarding the incident. The report should contain all observations made by the officer concerning the behavior of the suspect, the name of the Task Force deputy making the arrest, the BSO Report Number and any other information the officer deems appropriate or necessary to completely document the incident. The report will be marked to ensure that a copy of it is forwarded to the State Attorney's Office, DUI Unit.


The Initial DUI Investigation after the Traffic Stop

Officers with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department must perform traffic stops in accordance with the procedures established in Policy 217. After the stop, the DUI enforcement officer may ask basic questions such as:

  • Where have you been?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?
  • And if so, how much?
  • And when was your last drink?

If the officer believes that there is probable cause that the subject is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol then the suspect is no longer free to leave the scene. The officer is then required to conduct roadside tasks and the breathalyzer test. Officers in Fort Lauderdale are trained to delay reading Miranda as long as possible because Miranda is not required for a normal roadside DUI investigation.

In fact, the officer is trained to explain to the suspect that they do not have the right to refuse the roadside tasks or breathalyzer test or have their attorney present during testing. To avoid confusion, before requesting the suspect to perform the breathalyzer test, the officer conducting the DUI investigation is trained to ask the suspect if they understand that Miranda does not apply.

The officer must inform the subject of their rights against self-incrimination if it is necessary to ask additional questions. The officer will assess the suspect for signs of impairment through conversation and visual observation.


Determining Probable Cause for the DUI Arrest

The officer in Fort Lauderdale is trained to determine probable cause based on all of the observations. If Probable Cause exists, the officer must make the arrest and list all observations in the offense report. The Probable Cause Affidavit may serve as a DUI arrest offense report. The officer might also complete a supplemental report in order to include any information that would not normally be included in a probable cause affidavit, such as:

  • response to resistance;
  • medical treatment; and
  • tow information.

If probable cause does not exist and the officer does not believe that the suspect is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol then the officer must release the driver.

After the arrest for DUI, the suspect will be transported to the nearest appropriate testing facility which usually includes the Broward Sheriff’s Office B.A.T. Unit. After the chemical test of the suspect's breath or urine, the suspect will be transported directly to the BSO main jail (without stopping at the FLPD processing area). The officer will complete the booking process at BSO. The officer shall complete all necessary traffic citations and test refusal

The officer will complete the booking process at BSO. The officer shall complete all necessary traffic citations and test refusal form, if required. The officer will be required to get 2 copies of his/her PC and return them to the FLPD processing area when he/she clears BSO.

The arresting officer shall then complete all necessary reports. The offense report must include the time of the initial stop, the time of the arrest, and the time of the breathalyzer tests.


Completing the DUI Uniform Traffic Citation and Notice of Administrative Suspension

If the suspect has a BAC level of 0.08% or higher, or refuses to take a test, a DUI Uniform Traffic Citation must be written in place of a Uniform Traffic Citation, and the officer must seize the defendant's driver's license. No citations are to be attached to the Probable Cause Affidavit.

The defendant is given the yellow (Defendant's) copy of all citations issued. All other copies of all citations and the driver's license, if seized, shall be placed in the Bureau of Driver Improvement envelope, and left in the appropriate basket in the write-up room. In cases where a suspect is charged with multiple counts of DUI, only one DUI charge should be on the DUI Uniform Citation. Any additional DUI charges should be written on a Uniform Traffic Citation.


Driver’s With a BAC of .05 or Less and the Urine Test

If the person arrested for DUI has a BAC of .05% or less it is presumed, by law that the person is not under the influence of alcoholic beverage to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired. [§316.1934(2)(a) Florida Statute]. In those cases, the arresting officer shall request the arrestee provide a urine sample to test for the presence of alcohol or other chemical substance.

Urine samples collected for testing for alcohol or other chemical substance shall be placed in refrigerated storage in the evidence unit. The urine sample shall be delivered for testing in the same manner as described for blood samples.

Read more about DUI blood test cases in Broward County.


DUI Refusal in Fort Lauderdale

The refusal to submit a urine sample, upon request, shall constitute a refusal. If the person arrested for DUI refuses to submit a urine sample they shall be advised that the refusal will result in the suspension of the person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle. [§316.1932(1)(a) Florida Statute]. Copies of all paperwork received from the BSO B.A.T. facility will be placed in the appropriate DUI envelope in the write-up room for transmittal to the Bureau of Driver Improvement.

Copies of all paperwork received from the BSO B.A.T. facility will be placed in the appropriate DUI envelope in the write-up room for transmittal to the Bureau of Driver Improvement.

Read more about DUI refusal cases in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.


Finding a DUI Defense Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

We are familiar with the tactics used by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies including the Metro Broward DUI Task Force, Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco and local police departments from Hallandale, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, Sunrise, Plantation, Davie and Wilton Manors. We also know how prosecutors in the DUI Unit of the State Attorney's Office prosecute these cases.

After your arrest for DUI in Ft. Lauderdale, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..


This article was last updated on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

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