DUI Arrest Beyond Jurisdiction

DO FLORIDA POLICE OFFICERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO ARREST ME FOR DUI WHEN THEY ARE NOT IN THEIR JURISDICTION?

There is no concrete black and white answer to this question. The answer is; sometimes yes and sometimes no. Generally speaking, police officers have no right to arrest citizens outside of their jurisdictions. Sometimes adjoining cities and counties have agreements allowing officers to make an arrest for certain crimes in the adjoining territories. Also, much like a citizen may make a citizen’s arrest, so too may an officer of law make such an arrest.

This question came up in a Florida case recently. A man stopped his car so he was straddling on county lines and the police were called. The Officer that arrived approached the car and realized that while it was running, the driver was not awake. After several attempts to awaken him, the Officer was able to get the driver onto his feet long enough to arrest him for a DUI. But the driver’s side door was just over county lines. Should this arrest, an otherwise good and by the book arrest, be thrown out because of a few feet?

The Florida Court said yes. There was no mutual agreement between the adjoining counties and neither did the police departments (have an agreement amongst each other). However, the Court did stress that because the driver’s conduct was a felony and he was also breaching the peace he could have easily been arrested under a citizen’s arrest. The Officer was not from that area, he could n to set up an investigation of the DUI and it therefore was inappropriate for the officer to make such an arrest. A citizen’s arrest for disturbing the peace would have been much more acceptable in the court’s eyes.