Featured News 2016 Undercover Operations and DUI

Undercover Operations and DUI

You're probably familiar with undercover police officers "pretending" to be hardened criminals so they can bust drug dealers. After all, undercover operatives are frequently depicted on television and in film. Then, there's the real life vice squad, which is a lot like the episodes of Miami Vice.

But, undercover officers do more than dress up as prostitutes and drug dealers, they also go into bars and nightclubs on Friday and Saturday evenings in plain clothes with the intention of catching inebriated customers as they drive home under the influence.

Using Bars and Nightclubs for DUI Arrests

Local law enforcement, especially in slower precincts, will go to great lengths to nab drunk drivers. Similar to how the vice squad will dress up pretty female officers to arrest "Johns," the police will have officers camp out at a bar or a nightclub so they can "chat up" bar patrons and then quietly follow them as they walk to their vehicles under the influence so they can arrest them for DUI.

If the officer has watched a bar patron drink several drinks over the course of the night, the undercover officer may follow the patron as he or she leaves the bar with keys in hand. If the patron starts the engine, it's fair game for the undercover cop, who will then initiate a DUI arrest.

Are undercover DUI operations legal?

It can be very frustrating for a bar patron to spend the evening having what they thought was "good conversation" over several drinks with someone, only for their "new friend" to turn out to be an undercover cop who arrests them for driving under the influence (DUI).

Usually, the arrested feels like they've been duped, and taken advantage of. Maybe they were even encouraged by the undercover cop to drink more. Is this even legal? Yes, it is and law enforcement agencies stand by this covert method to make DUI arrests.

If you were arrested for DUI by an undercover officer, it doesn't mean that the arrest was legal, or that you don't have defenses. If you are in this situation, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced DUI defense lawyer!

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