I recently read about a DUI lawyer facing a little heat this year over some controversial advice he provided in Florida over DUI checkpoints. In Florida, where DUI checkpoints are legal, this DUI lawyer blogged that motorists should put their license, registration, proof of insurance, and a flyer in a plastic baggie attached to the exterior of their vehicle and then roll up the driver’s window as they approach the checkpoint. The flyer would state things such as, “I remain silent,” “no searches,” and “I want my lawyer.”
The thinking behind this idea is the law enforcement officer would see the flyer, perhaps review the license and registration and then waive the driver through the DUI checkpoint. Because the flyer essential would state the driver is not going answer any questions, then arguably, the police officer shouldn’t ask the driver to exit absent any specific or articulable observations of impairment made by the police officer.
I personally think this idea might cause the opposite of what this DUI lawyer was thinking. By employing this tactic, aren’t you drawing attention to yourself? Let’s be honest here if a police officer wants to get someone out of their vehicle, it doesn’t take a whole lot. Any little traffic infraction, any little possible sign of impairment, and the cop is just going to use that as an excuse to see what is really going on with the driver using this flyer tactic. Even though under Florida law, something like this would be legal, it is my opinion that it would be stupid to do, especially if you have been drinking. Unless you’re completely sober and you want to just mess with the police, I wouldn’t advise a driver would do this.
If you’re interested, here is the link to the article from the ABA journal where is saw it.
About the author: Matthew Leyba is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC, the premier DUI law firm in Seattle. Matthew has been repeatedly recognized as a Rising Star in the area of DUI defense by the Seattle Met Magazine. Additionally, he was recently named a Top 40 under 40 criminal defense lawyer in Washington State.