Miami is one of the most exciting places to live in the entire United States. Few cities can rival the amazing array of nightclubs and bars the Magic City has to offer. With so many exciting clubs, breweries and bars, the police are often spotted around these locations trawling for drunk drivers. But is this legal? If you were ever wondering, “Are Miami police allowed to follow me home from the bar?”, here’s what you need to know.
Can Police Follow You Home from the Bar?
So, are Miami police allowed to follow you home from the bar? Yes and no. Yes, because if they are not actively trying to stop you, then they are doing nothing illegal. No, because this may be entrapment.
Entrapment, as defined under Florida law, is a situation where police arrest a person for committing a crime they may have otherwise not have committed if they weren’t coerced or encouraged by police officers. So, if a person is asleep in their car after a heavy night of drinking at a bar, and an officer wakes them, tells them to go home and then arrests them for drunk driving, this would be considered entrapment.
If, however, a police officer observes you leaving a bar drunk and then arrests you for drunk driving, entrapment did not occur, as they were well within their rights to be outside of the bar. This, though, is only if they have proof or probable cause to believe that you were drunk.
For a law enforcement official to legally initiate a traffic stop, they need to have probable cause that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. This would have to come from witnessing erratic driving as a result of a tip from a concerned citizen, or a similar incident. Simply watching a person exit a bar and drive home is not adequate proof or probable cause for a traffic stop under Florida law.
Those arrested for a DUI offense after police followed them home from the bar may be able to argue that the police did not have probable cause to pull them over. Since police vehicles are equipped with dash cams, the video provided by law enforcement officials may corroborate your claim and get you off the hook.
Arrested by Police Following You Home? Call Piotrowski Law Today
If you are arrested for a DUI by Miami police, but you feel that they had no probable cause to pull you over, you should contact an experienced and determined DUI defense attorney right away. Call Miami’s premier criminal defense firm – Piotrowski Law.
Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from DUIs and marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad has the unique ability to anticipate the prosecution’s strategies to help build a strong defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.