Arrests by Largo Police Department
With more than 150 sworn officers and 50 civilian support staff, the police department in the City of Largo takes a proactive approach to enforcing criminal laws and ordinances through the city limits. The Largo Police Department has an annual budget of over $2.6 million.
On June 6, 2023, the Largo Police Department transitioned from the outgoing Chief Jeff Undestad to the incoming Chief Mike Loux. Chief Loux previously served as Undestad’s second in command since 2017. That same day, Major Ann Starling was promoted to Deputy Chief.
Specialty assignments for officers at the Largo Police Department include:
- Crime Scene Investigation
- Detective Division
- Honor Guard
- Investigative Services Section with detectives for Crimes Against Persons and Crimes Against Property
- K9 Unit with four hog and handler teams cross-trained in patrol, narcotics detection, and SWAT
- Problem-Oriented Police Unit
- School Resource Officer (SRO)
- Special Incident Response Team (SIRT)
- TAC Team (SWAT) (Assault, Snipers, MRAP, Humvee, robot)
- Traffic Safety/DUI/Motor Unit and Traffic Homicide Investigations
Most criminal investigations by the Largo Police Department result in the creation of an event report. The report includes information about the call received, the units responding, the location, radio log, and event notes. The prosecution might not provide the event report during the discovery process. Instead, the event report and an internal copy of the incident/investigation might be requested from the agency directly.
Attorney for an Arrest by Largo Police Department
If you were arrested by an officer with the Largo Police Department, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. During the consultation, we can discuss the charges pending against you, the potential penalties for that offense, and the best ways to fight the charges.
We understand the standard operating procedures used by officers at the Largo Police Department. During our investigation, we can determine what mistakes were made by the officers investigating the case. We can file the appropriate motions to suppress or dismiss the charges if evidence was illegally seized.
If you plan on hiring a private criminal defense attorney, do so at the earliest stages of the case to protect your rights.
Sammis Law Firm has an office at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820, near the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center (CJC) courthouse.
DUI Enforcement by Officers with the Police Department in Largo, FL
The Largo Police Department has specialty assignments for the DUI Enforcement Unit (Traffic Safety/DUI/Motor Unit). The police department in Largo, FL, maintains its own Intoxilyzer 8000 machine.
After a DUI arrest, the suspect is often taken to the Largo Police Department to sit on a bench while the officer reads an implied consent warning posted on the wall across from the bench.
At that point, the suspect is asked whether they will submit to the breath test or want to refuse to submit. If the person has a BAC over the legal limit of .08 or refuses to submit, the officer will trigger an administrative suspension of the driver’s license.
After a DUI arrest in Largo, FL, you only have ten (10) days to hire an attorney to demand a FORMAL review hearing. If you do not win the formal review hearing, your driver’s license will be administratively suspended for 6-18 months, and that notation will remain on your driver’s license for the next 75 years.
Although some people might tell you to waive all your rights by seeking immediate hardship reinstatement, find out why we always recommend demanding a formal review hearing and getting a 42-day permit so that you can keep driving while your attorney fights the suspension.
Demanding a formal review hearing is the ONLY way to contest the administrative suspension. Otherwise, it will remain on your driving record for 75 years. Don’t waive your rights at the Bureau of Administrative Reviews office in Clearwater until AFTER you speak to us about the benefits of demanding a formal review hearing.
We can help you challenge the administrative suspension of your driver’s license (so the DUI notation doesn’t remain on your driving record for the next 75 years). Our DUI defense attorneys can also help you fight the charges in court.
DUI Breath Test (Breathalyzer) at Largo Police Department
The Largo Police Department’s alcohol testing program maintains an Intoxilyzer 8000 machine with serial number 80-001079. The Intoxilyzer 8000 is the only breath test machine used in Florida in DUI cases.
The breathalyzer machine assigned to the Largo Police Department, serial number 80-001079, recently had problems with DPS start-up failures. The machine was sent to the FDLE Alcohol Testing Program (ATP) lab for a department inspection, where the problems with the DPS failing at start-up continued on October 18, 2018.
The machine was sent out for repairs to CMI, Inc. that same day, according to the FDLE/ATP Form 48. The problems have continued in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
If the breath test machine does not substantially comply with the administrative rules, then your criminal defense attorney can file a motion to throw out the breath test reading at trial.
The best way to win a breath test case is to file the appropriate motions asking the court to prohibit the prosecutor from introducing the breath test reading at trial.
DUI Refusal to Submit to Breath Testing in Largo, FL
After a DUI arrest, the officer will conduct the vehicle’s impound per policy and procedure. The driver is transported to the Largo Police Department to allow him or her to conduct the breath test. Upon arrival at the Largo Police Department, the officer will ensure the subject’s mouth is free of foreign objects and begin a 20-minute observation period.
After the 20-minute observation period and the breath test machine is ready for a breath sample, the officer will ask the subject if he is willing to conduct the breath test. If the subject says “no,” the officer will read Florida’s implied consent warning (written on a board posted on a wall in front of the subject.
The officer will ask if the subject has questions about the implied consent warning. Then, the officer will ask if, having these rights in mind, the subject will take the breath test.
If the subject continues to refuse a breath test, the officer will document the refusal on the DUI Uniform Traffic Citation (UTC) and other appropriate paperwork. The officer then enters the Watch Guard Refusal Video into evidence for further information regarding the implied consent and refusal reading.
Largo Police Department DUI Supplemental Reports
In every DUI case involving an arrest by an officer with the LPD, the officer will complete “The Largo Police Department DUI Supplement.” The supplement report will list the following information:
- the date
- the report number
- the time of contact
- custody time
- the subject’s information
- the reason for the stop
- the referral officer
- whether the stop was dispatched or self-initiated, the crash primary officer
- whether any backup officer was involved in the investigation
- whether the subject was transported to the hospital
- the type of testing that occurred (urine or blood)
- whether a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) was involved in the investigation
- the infraction area
- the final stop area
- whether a video of the infraction exists
- whether a video of the stop exists
- information about any prior DUI conviction dates
- other infractions
- vehicle information
- passenger information
The form also has a section to show when Miranda Warnings were given and whether the suspect agreed to talk or took the 5th Amendment right to remain silent. If the suspect waives their right to remain silent, then the arresting officer is trained to ask the following questions and note the response on the standardized form:
- where are you coming from?
- where are you going?
- what street are you on?
- have you been drinking?
- what have you been drinking?
- where were you drinking?
- when did you last sleep?
- how much sleep did you have?
- when did you last eat?
- what did you last eat?
- are you sick, injured, or have any physical disability?
- are there any mechanical problems with the vehicle?
- have you taken any drugs or medications?
- time of the last dose?
- do you feel the effects of the alcoholic beverage or drugs you have consumed?
- in your opinion, are you under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug?
- what time is it?
- are you wearing contact lenses?
- do you have vision in both eyes?
- are you under the care of a doctor or dentist?
- are you epileptic or diabetic?
If your DUI with property damage arrest in Pinellas County, FL, involved a crash or accident, then the officer is trained to ask the following questions:
- where were you driving the vehicle?
- were you involved in the crash?
- have you had any alcoholic beverages or drugs since the crash?
- were you drinking or using drugs prior to the crash?
- were you injured in the crash?
- describe what happened in the crash?
The DUI Supplement report allows the arresting officer to document information about how the subject performs on field sobriety exercises, including the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn, the one-leg stand, the Romberg alphabet, and the finger-to-nose exercise.
The form also lists various “clues of impairment” that the officer might check, including the odor of alcohol on the breath, bloodshot, watery or glassy eyes, slurred or mumbling speech, and a flushed face.
If you were arrested by an officer with the Largo Police Department, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney for Pinellas County, FL, at Sammis Law Firm.
Largo’s Traffic Safety and DUI Unit
Officers in the Traffic Safety Unit conduct both DUI and Traffic Homicide Investigations. Several officers with the Largo Police Department, including Officer Kenneth Hastings, Officer Stephanie Blitz, Officer Matthew Gosier, and Officer Christina Silverstein, have been recognized with the MADD Century Award. The award is given to officers with more than 100 arrests in a calendar year (regardless of the number of convictions that occurred).
For instance, in 2015, Officer S. Calderone was recognized for his “Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement” by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at their 14th Annual Statewide Conference in South Florida. Later that year, RID (Remove Intoxicated Drivers) Tampa Bay held a banquet recognizing high-performing DUI enforcement officers, including Officer J. Rice and Officer C. Silverstein at the Largo Police Department.
In 2016, members of the Largo Police Department Traffic Enforcement Squad attended the 16th Annual MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Recognition and Training Event. Officer Silverstein was recognized as a “Century Achiever.” Later that year, the traffic safety team accepted two awards from RID Tampa Bay for outstanding work in DUI Enforcement.
In 2017, Traffic Safety Officers Christina Silverstein received the MADD Century Award for making over 100 DUI arrests in a year and Matt Gosier was nominated for Outstanding Dedication to DUI Enforcement.
In 2018, Office Christina Silverstein received the Century Award during a banquet hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Officer Christina Silverstein also received theDistinguished Individual Effort Award.
In 2019, Traffic Safety Ofc. Silverstein received the MADD Century Award for making over 100 DUI arrests in 2018 and the MADD Outstanding DUI Enforcement Award.
Many of the officers in the Largo Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit have completed courses or training in the field of alcohol detection and impaired-related offenses, including training and instruction in the administration and interpretation of Standardized Field Sobriety Exercises. For example, Officer Kenneth Hastings, assigned to the Traffic Safety Unit, has conducted approximately 220 DUI arrests, has attended 120 hours in DUI enforcement, and received approximately 359 hours of training in crash investigations.
These officers have seen impaired persons in the past and, during the course of employment, have observed numerous people who were under the influence of alcohol and/or chemical substances and/or controlled substances. The officers have formed opinions on impairment and have had their suspicions confirmed by breath, urine, and/or blood samples.
DUI Checkpoints by the Largo Police Department
On Friday, July 27, 2012, the Largo Police Department conducted a DUI Checkpoint at 900 Missouri Avenue to reduce DUI-related injuries. Officers of the Largo Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office conducted the checkpoint from 10:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m.
During the DUI checkpoint, the Largo Police Department reported that 822 vehicles passed through the area, 255 of whom were diverted into the checkpoint, and the average intrusion time for those vehicles diverted into the checkpoint was 1 minute and 44 seconds.
The checkpoint resulted in only two charges of DUI, five charges of Driving While License Suspended/Revoked (DWLSR), seven charges of Possession of Marijuana, three charges of Possession of Paraphernalia, two charges of violation of probation, and three charges of no valid driver’s license. Additionally, 14 vehicles were impounded, and 35 citations were issued during the DUI checkpoint in Largo, FL.
Largo Police Department’s Post on MADD Award – Visit the Facebook profile page for the Largo Police Department to find a post from July 31, 2018, congratulating officers in the DUI unit who received awards.
Victim Advocate for Largo Police Department – If you are the alleged victim of domestic violence in Pinellas County, FL, involving an arrest by an officer with the Largo Police Department, you might be entitled to help from the Largo Victim Advocate by calling 727-587-6770 or sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You might be asked to visit this website and complete the form confirming you have reviewed the Victims’ Rights Webpage. The form also includes an Exemption From Public Records Disclosure. As the victim of a crime in Largo, FL, you can use the form to exercise your right to request an exemption prohibiting the disclosure of records or information to the general public that could be used to locate or harass you or your family or which could disclose confidential or privileged information under Article 1, Declaration of Rights of Victims, Section 16, Paragraph (b)(5) – “Marsy’s Law.”
This article was last updated on Friday, September 29, 2023.