Nearly 30% of Florida's traffic fatalities in 2004 were alcohol-related and in the last 20 years, alcohol-related fatalities have increased by one-third. The need for effective and proactive enforcement of Florida's DUI laws is crucial in combating a growing problem on the highways and waterways of the state.
The Broward Sheriff's Office responds to this problem with the DUI Unit, encompassing three separate divisions: the DUI Task Force, DUI/Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT), and BAT Video. All three work together to enforce DUI laws, process DUI offenders and increase awareness of the hazards of driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DUI Task Force
Proactively enforces Florida's DUI laws with special DUI checkpoints and detects, investigates and apprehends impaired drivers. Task Force deputies also assist other law enforcement agencies and the State Attorney's Office; offer DUI training; provide educational presentations; and facilitate support groups including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD).
DUI/Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT)
Provides technical support during processing of persons arrested for driving or boating while impaired. BAT personnel are specially trained and certified Breath Alcohol Testing Technicians. BSO personnel use an Intoxilyzer 8000 to test for evidence of alcohol.
Assists in the successful prosecution of those charged with DUI, primarily by videotaping offenders. The team processes discovery requests, provides expert testimony and trains personnel of the State Attorney's office and the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys' Association on issues regarding forensic breath alcohol testing.
The DUI unit offers a variety of educational opportunities including Teenage Drinking and Driving Awareness programs, DUI Saturation Patrols, Field Officer Training and public displays of enforcement equipment including the "BAT-mobile"- the mobile breath alcohol testing truck.