The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced that its agency will be participating in the “Click it or Ticket” campaign beginning Monday, May 22, 2023, through Sunday, June 4, 2023. This means that law enforcement officers in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the surrounding areas of Pinellas County will be on high alert to conduct traffic stops on individuals driving without their seatbelts fastened. Many of these traffic stops will be conducted during the evening hours – from 6:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.
More Traffic Stops Means More Arrests
Although the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office press release indicates that the focus of the campaign will be to educate drivers and that warnings will be issued when appropriate, our top-rated Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys know that more traffic stops mean there will be more arrests during the enhanced enforcement campaign.
Common Arrests that Stem From Traffic Stops
In the grand scheme of things, receiving a citation for a seatbelt violation is a minor issue. However, often times these sorts of traffic stops serve as a pretext for having contact with citizens in an effort to make arrests on more serious offenses. The most common offenses that we see arrests stemming from traffic stops include:
- Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Violation of Probation Warrant
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- No Valid Driver’s License
- Failure to Appear Warrant
Tips for Avoiding a Traffic Stop
Here are five things that you can do to reduce the chances of being stopped by law enforcement during the “Click it or Ticket” campaign:
- Always buckle your safety belt and make sure that all of your passengers are also wearing a seatbelt.
- Make sure that all of the lights and other equipment on your vehicle are functional – including brake lights and the “tag” light above your license plate
- Obey all stop signs and red lights. Come to a complete stop behind the “stop bar” (the white lane painted on the pavement)
- Be aware of the speed limit
- If you choose to go out to a bar or club, designate a sober driver or utilize Uber, Lyft, or a Taxi.
Contact our Office for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been arrested because of a traffic stop during the “Click it or Ticket” campaign, contact our office at 727-578-0303 for a free consultation. Our highly ranked Pinellas County criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors who have been defending criminal charges in Pinellas County for a combined 40-plus years. Put our experience to work for you today.
For a free consultation with a defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.