A Florida criminal defense attorney’s DUI checkpoint flyers intended to protect people from wrongful charges are cause for controversy as they may allow impaired drivers to avoid arrest.
Warren Redlich is the criminal defense attorney behind the “Fair DUI Flyer,” which is essentially a DUI checkpoint kit drivers are using to go through stops without having to roll down the window and interact with officers face to face, preventing police from perceiving slurred speech or detecting alcohol on the breath.
Law enforcement officials are questioning the legality of the Fair DUI Flyer as DUI checkpoints are legal in 38 states, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1990 upheld that these types of stops do not violate constitutional search and seizure rights because they help prevent hazards caused by drunk driving.
Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are concerned that the flyers let impaired drivers stay on the roads, potentially causing harm to themselves and others. According to MADD, 676 people were killed in drunk-driving related accidents in Florida in 2014.
The Fair DUI Flyer reads “I remain silent, no searches and I want my lawyer,” along with a short list of state laws and a set of instructions for the driver to display their driver’s license, proof of insurance and car registration.
“It’s a method for innocent people to protect themselves from a bad DUI arrest,” Redlich told USA TODAY Network.
A YouTube video with over 2.5 million views shows a man using Redlich’s flyer at checkpoints in Florida, with the flyer and required documents in a plastic bag set outside the driver’s window for police to inspect.
In the video, Florida Highway Patrol officers observe the flyer and eventually waive the car through.
Redlich said he created the flyer because he, “was tired of defending people who were wrongfully arrested after going through checkpoints.”
The flyer is tailored to laws in 12 different states, but Redlich doesn’t recommend using them in states other than where he practices in New York and Florida without speaking to a lawyer first.
While people in Florida may have had some success with Redlich’s method, the flyer doesn’t guarantee drivers will get through checkpoints unscathed. An officer may have other reasons to give citations that have nothing to do with impaired driving, in which case the flyer says to have the officer put the ticket on the windshield.
Would you dare to use the Fair DUI Flyer?