DUI checkpoints are common sites, particularly around the holidays. But some drivers are going through the checkpoints without even rolling down their windows.
All they do is show a sign from a website called FairDUI.org.
One viral video with more than one million views was taken in Levy County on the night of New Year’s Eve. It shows exactly how drivers can use the sign to make their way through the checkpoint.
The sign reads, “I remain silent, no searches, I want my lawyer.”
Beneath that, Florida statutes are cited on the sign next to the driver’s license, registration and insurance. In the video, the deputies examine it with a flashlight and wave the driver on.
In the video, the driver tells the viewer:
“The second you open your window, they can say they smell alcohol or drugs emitting from the vehicle and in the moment that you speak a word, they can claim that your speech is slurred.”
So the question is, does this protect drunk drivers or is it merely a protection of your rights? Our legal experts say it could be doing both.
“At this point it is legal,” said Jaya Balani, a legal analyst with NeJame Law. “It is providing everything the officer is asking for. Or it could be protecting other citizens like someone who is under the influence. Just makes it a regular habit of showing their information at a DUI checkpoint and getting off and potentially hurting someone else down the road.”
But FairDUI.org founder Warren Redlich said it will not save drunk drivers from an arrest.
“This card has detailed instructions on the back,” Redlich said. “Drunks aren’t good at following instructions. This isn’t going to protect drunk people.”
Our legal analyst said just by holding up the sign, it could draw extra attention to you and your vehicle even after they let you go.
“They have the right to follow you, they just can’t stop you unless they have a reason,” Balani said. “They could have maybe an officer down the road seeing how the driving pattern is after they leave the DUI checkpoint.”
She added officers are trained to spot signs of impairment. And this sign cannot be used to obstruct the officer’s view of you.