Illegal riders on MLK Day will face arrest, police warn

South Florida authorities caution that there will be arrests, citations and vehicle seizures if people break the law on the streets during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

DORAL, Fla. – Authorities warn that arrests will be made and vehicles will be towed if people take to the roads illegally to participate in Martin Luther King Jr. Day ride-outs that have become a dangerous tradition.

“Let’s put safety at the forefront of our celebrations,” Miami-Dade police Det. Christopher Sowerby Thomas said Thursday.

The warning in Miami-Dade County came a day after a similar message was sent by Broward County law enforcement.

Police and the Florida Highway Patrol emphasize safety and proper use of ATVs and motorcycles. In all of 2021, 25 people in Miami-Dade county were killed riding ATVs, motorcycles, mopeds or scooters. Seven were critically injured.

“The hardest part of my job as a traffic homicide detective is telling a family their loved ones are fighting for the life,” said Miami-Dade Det. Jeffrey Childers.

Law enforcement pledges increased enforcement on the holiday, on the road and in the air.

Illegal riders face hefty fines and citations.

“People will be subject to arrest,” said Maj. Roger Reyes of the Florida Highway Patrol. “We will also tow vehicles. And your vehicles are subject to seizures.”

FHP also has advice for drivers who find themselves surrounded by riders.

“Do not take action on your own,” Reyes said. “These individuals are out there with a complete disregard for public safety and we need all to make sure that everyone stays safe this holiday weekend.”

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.