In Florida, the drivers have started to deal with DUI checkpoints in a manner which has fuelled controversy and debate. Instead of opening the window, the driver maintains silence and signals a plastic bag which hangs loosely from door. The officer uses flashlight to verify the bag which contain copies of driver license, registration, insurance documents and paper slip referred as ‘Fair DUI flier’. The packet is carefully examined by the officer and after glaring the driver, he is allowed to proceed with verbal greeting.
Warren Redlich is the creator of this file and points out that DUI checkpoint violate the constitution rights of a motorist. He is a defense lawyer from Boca Raton who expressed that his website features detailed explanation on this legal question. It is aimed at protecting the motorists from being arrested falsely. According to him, there is no realization among people on how some unfortunate and innocent ones get arrested on several occasions. On the other hand, law enforcement organizations strongly oppose the theory of Redlich.
The officials refer to a ruling of U.S. Supreme Court in 1990 which advocated the uses of these DUI checkpoints randomly. According to a county Sheriff Shoar, they have the legitimate right of doing such activities. As per WTVJ, motorist using this ‘fair DUI flier’ will face on spot arrest. Redlich maintains that state laws of Florida doesn’t need drivers sign any ticket unless due to specific violations. It may include travelling up to 30 miles an hour against speed limit, carrying improper load, etc.
The motorists use this flier to indicate the loophole while opting for remaining silent at the DUI checkpoints. It is asking cops to place the tickets under the windshield wiper of the vehicle. The Florida drivers at the checkpoints need to present essential legal documents but not necessarily in physical. Redlich points out that cops observe if the driver has impaired speech or impaired motor coordination. He encourages these drivers to create a record of their police encounter. Not rolling down window and no talking are likely to create doubt in the officer’s mind if the driver has consumed alcohol or not.
A former federal prosecutor points out the reasons for asking the driver to open the car window. According to David Weinstein, tactics formulated by Redlich may not hold up at court and cops may observe the bloodshot red eyes of the driver with closed windows. Garett Berman is a traffic safety prosecutor in Florida who argues that tactics of Redlich is an outdated theory. Motorists are needed to show a license which isn’t defaced, altered, faded or mutilated. Without inspecting this legal document by hand, an officer is unable determine its authenticity, argues Berman.
According to Berman, government aims to keep impaired drivers away from roads. The total arrests at Florida were 40677 last year leading to more than 26,000 convictions. Critics slam the theory of Redlich observing that it subverts the police. However, the defense lawyer maintains that he is a complete supporter of law and isn’t biased to drunk drivers.
Image credit: John Roman