DUI Stop Illegal

In the case of Pedro Dominguez versus the State of Florida, a police officer went to a domestic disturbance call, saw Dominguez driving his vehicle away from the home, and ordered Dominguez to return to the home. After determining that no battery occurred, the officer noticed Dominguez parked “a little crooked”, that he could smell alcohol on him, and that Dominguez’ speech was slurred. The court of appeals said:

“Nothing on the officer’s observation constituted evidence that a crime was being or going to be committed, as the only observation the officer made was of Dominguez driving away from the home. The girlfriend did not report any battery. Although the judge found that the ‘signal 38’ call was frequently made for domestic violence disputes, this was unsupported by any testimony at the hearing. Nor do we think it would justify a stop, as the signal could be for both non-criminal as well as criminal incidents. Without more, an officer could have only a hunch that a crime might have occurred.”

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