DUI checkpoints are used by multiple South Florida law enforcement agencies to try to keep the streets clear of intoxicated drivers. But, a local attorney says there’s a legal way around the checkpoints for any driver, while prosecutors say not so fast.
“Normally what they look for is: Do you have impaired speech? Do you have impaired motor coordination? Does he smell of alcohol,” said defense attorney Warren Redlich. “If you don’t roll down your window and don’t speak; you’ve taken away some of those.”
Instead, Redlich says you should keep the window rolled up and show the officers at the checkpoint a card that states “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer.” In addition, Redlich said you should show your license, registration, and insurance. By doing all of this, Redlich said you affirmatively assert your rights.
“That gives the police the ability to do the things they need to do in the traffic stop or checkpoint without you rolling down your window and answering questions, which you don’t want to do,” Redlich told NBC 6’s Keith Jones.
Redlich shows videos that document drivers showing documents in a bag to officers without having to roll down the window and getting waved through a checkpoint. His videos on YouTube have been viewed more than 2 million times.
“It’s important you record your police encounter,” Redlich said. “Sorry, there are good cops and there are bad cops. Some of the cops will lie. You want to have that evidence.”
Garrett Berman from Florida’s Traffic Safety Resource division disagrees. Berman trains prosecutors and police about traffic violations, including DUI checkpoints, and said the law for drivers and officers changed in July of last year.
“It changed from displaying their license to actually present or submit the license to the officer,” Berman said. “The whole process is actually streamlined to take 30-45 seconds. The problem is when you put that display up; you’re actually going out of your way to delay that detainment.”
In the end, both Redlich and Berman agree that the simple answer is if you feel the slightest bit off after you’ve had your fun, don’t get behind the wheel of a car.