According to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, they enforce DUI Laws, “[b]y using a data driven approach specific areas that have been identified as high crash locations are selected for saturation patrols which are also known as Wolf packs. The STEP Unit aggressively patrol these areas to locate and arrest impaired drivers. Wolf Pack operations may be conducted at any time or place with or without prior warning.” We thought we would run down a list of the most frequent locations where we find DUI cases in Pasco County, Florida. Interstate 75, US Highway 19, The Suncoast Parkway State Road 589, US Highway 301, US Highway 41, State Road 54, State Road 52, and State Road 56.
The Pasco County Sheriff and the Florida Highway Patrol are the primary enforcers. The Sheriff has noted, “The Selective Traffic Enforcement Patrol Unit (S.T.E.P.) The S.T.E.P. Unit is part of the Traffic Enforcement Section of the Sheriff’s Office which also contains the Motor Unit. The S.T.E.P. Unit uses six deputies to actively enforce traffic laws in Pasco County mainly during the nighttime hours which have a higher rate or alcohol and/or drug related crashes. The unit’s goal is to reduce the collisions involving alcohol and narcotics. The unit’s main function is the detection and apprehension of drivers who are suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. The cops in Pasco will frequently sign their names to DUI citations with a notation that they are “STEP” deputies (Selective Traffic Enforcement Patrol Unit).
Florida Highway Patrol – Pasco County DUI Arrest Contest
Pasco County’s Florida Highway Patrol Troop has proudly claimed the title for most DUI arrests in the State of Florida. This is troubling, since the county only has a population of around 470,000. Hillsborough County has 1,250,000, Miami/Dade has 2,500,000, and Orange County has 1,200,000 residents. How can this small county cause trouble for so many residents?
Florida Highway Patrol spokesman for the highway patrol’s Tampa Bay area troop says, “Pasco County does not necessarily have a higher number of DUI drivers, but more are arrested in Pasco County . . . .” We have noticed an extraordinary number of DUI arrests in Pasco County. Trooper Ron Evans is a winning contestant in this rather serious game. We ask how can a small Florida county “win” this contest repeatedly?
One media source reports,”troopers made 942 DUI arrests in Pasco, compared to 294 in Hillsborough County.” The report also noted, “While Evans was a finalist for the award in 2010 he was bested by Trooper Michael Hollis, Jr. who also works in the Land O’ Lakes area, with 203 DUI arrests in 2009. In 2008, their colleague Terry Goswick Jr. captured the award with 190 arrests in 2009.”
Pasco County DUI Checkpoint Invalidated
This small county is also known for having conducted invalid DUI checkpoints when defense attorneys, watching video of the operation noted violations of rules established by the courts. The procedural method requires the stopping of vehicles according to a precise previously-announced plan of action. DUI charges in thos cases were tossed by the Judge(s).
According to the Sheriff, “Sobriety checkpoints are an effective law enforcement tool involving the stopping of a specific sequence of vehicles, at a predetermined fixed location to detect impaired drivers. These operations not only serve as a specific deterrent by arresting impaired drivers who pass through the checkpoints, but more importantly, as a general deterrent to persons who have knowledge of the operation. Local law enforcement agencies and the Florida Highway Patrol participate in regular DUI Checkpoints.” Unfortunately for some drivers, who may not have had lawyers, their convictions may be on their record to this day.
|US Highway 19|
|State Road 54|
|US Highway 41|
|State Road 52|
|US Highway 301|
|The Suncoast Parkway
State Road 589
US Highway 19