A Letter From a Jersey Jackass

Fair DUI founder Warren Redlich received this letter, with no name and no return address. All we can tell from the postage stamp is that it was sent from New Jersey, somewhere near but not in Newark (a zip code starting with 070).

jersey-jackass

Let’s break this down. First of all, we are not playing. Asserting your constitutional rights is not a game.

Second, the writer’s statement that “more people are murdered by drunk drivers than pulled over and arrested for false drunk driving charges” is false, both as written and as the writer probably intends. The term murder is incorrect. Most DUI homicide charges are for manslaughter rather than murder. Murder is usually used for intentional crimes rather than accidents (whether intoxicated or otherwise).

But even if you go with deaths caused by drunk driving, the latest number we have from a biased MADD-like source is just over 10,000 in 2013. As we understand how that number is determined, it includes any case where someone died in a car accident and alcohol was involved. For example it includes when a drunk pedestrian is hit and killed by a sober driver.

But this is incorrect and misleading because alcohol is only one of several factors that contribute to crashes involving drinking drivers. Furthermore, some fatally injured people in alcohol-related crashes are pedestrians with positive BACs, and these fatalities still would occur even if every driver were sober.

In other words, the number of fatalities caused by “drunk drivers” (we can argue over whether 0.08 is really drunk) is significantly lower than that 10,000 figure. Meanwhile police in the US make about 1.5 million DUI arrests per year. If only 1% of those arrests are wrong, that’s 15,000 people. It is this author’s opinion that more than 10% of DUI arrests are wrong and that’s over 150,000 people.

In Florida a large number of DUI arrestees who take breath tests blow a legal BAC. They are nevertheless charged with DUI and their neighbors see their mugshots on the internet. Breath tests themselves are highly unreliable. DUI charges based on drugs are wrong even more often. It is very difficult to prove that the drugs in the driver’s system caused any meaningful impairment, generally because most drugs do not cause meaningful impairment. Even the popular notion that marijuana causes impairment is widely disputed.

Jersey Jackass suggests that we “create a video showing what it is like to be pulled over while driving drunk, … the aftermath of a fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver,” etc.

There is no shortage of such videos. They hyperbolic excess of anti-DUI videos put out by government and special interests like MADD is more than enough. There is, however, a shortage of good videos and other information about how innocent people can protect themselves from false DUI charges.

If Jersey Jackass had bothered to read my Fair DUI book (it’s only 99 cents on Kindle) he’d see that the first substantive chapter (after the introduction) talks extensively about not drinking and driving at all. It offers practical tips to avoid drinking and driving, far better than the idiotic advice we hear all the time from critics. You can see that without even buying the book by looking at the free preview part on Amazon.

fair-dui-kindle

We frequently hear people say that if you’re drunk you should call a cab. While we agree that would be good, it is not reasonable to expect drunk people to make good decisions. The book talks about good decisions to make while sober that prevent you from having the opportunity to make bad decisions while drunk.

Next up the Jersey Jackass suggests that we should “show some respect to the police by allowing them to do their job.”

The flyer we use does exactly that. There are plenty of videos out there where drivers talk rudely to police or say otherwise inappropriate things. Those videos were actually part of the motivation for creating the flyer. My “favorite” of these is when someone asks a police officer: “Am I being detained?” Another is when the person asks: “Am I required to answer that question?” The flyer offers a much better approach.

We are not anti-police. Some of my best friends are cops and I’ve discussed both the flyer and the book with them. One of them read the whole book for me before I published it and offered constructive criticism.

The flyer asserts the driver’s rights for him without him having to speak, and it gives clear instructions to the officer about the law in that state. This is designed to help the officer follow the law and the Constitution while carrying out his or her duty.

Jersey Jackass goes on to suggest: “If … a police officer’s arrest is questionable, the individual can hire a lawyer. Isn’t that what you do?”

Sure. If there are more arrests guys like me make more money. I am arguing against my own financial interest.

But it is not always true that “the individual can hire a lawyer.” I’ve talked with many arrestees who cannot afford me. Hiring a lawyer to fight a false DUI charge is not cheap. You can expect it to cost at least $5000 and probably $10K or more. Even if you win, they don’t unarrest you. Your mugshot is still out there. Your neighbors still know you were arrested and may not know you won.

Last is Jersey Jackass’ swipe at lawyers:

“You don’t see police officers handing out flyers educating the public that lawyers are lying scumbags, twist the truth, withhold evidence, and encourage their clients and witnesses to lie on the stand …”

This is part of why we’re not anti-police. Most cops know that the above is nonsense. They respect us and we respect them. In 20 years as an attorney I’ve never once seen an attorney encourage a client or witness to lie on the stand. Are lawyers perfect? Of course not. Neither are police.

It’s not clear why Jersey Jackass kept himself anonymous. Perhaps he just didn’t want to see the response. Because that might require an open mind, and he doesn’t have one.

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19 thoughts on “A Letter From a Jersey Jackass

  1. Thomas

    WoW, what a very professional response… Well stated.. Clearly and Precisely. I assume that the letter came from a Police official/officer who saw one of your postings at a DUI road check and couldn’t do anything about it. Also, Police are allowed to LIE to people to get their consent and trample all over their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. Just Saying….

    Reply
    1. Charles Riley

      I like the flyer simply because I think these checkpoints are being used as honey traps to uncover violations that are not drinking related. Anything to help such individuals is a plus.

      Reply
  2. Chris S.

    Hey man, I’m just glad you were willing to hand The People a Tool to protect themselves from the police. I don’t condone Drinking and Driving and I don’t think this should be an excuse to allow people to go out and drink and drive but, I also have a problem with police violating my rights and looking at “their” community as a cash crop. The use of this flyer has greater applications then just using it because you had glass of wine and decided to drive.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    These cops hate civil liberties…. Until they get stopped themselves after a few drinks. Watch the YouTube videos of the cops that get pulled over for dwi. They listen to their union rep and lawyer and do exactly what they rail against. They remain silent, refuse breathalizers, and exercise every right they can.

    Do what the cops do. Exercise your rights.

    Reply
  4. JJ Swiontek

    Well done sir. Thank you for your work in defending liberty. If I’m ever in Florida, I’ll buy lunch. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Rob

    According to the CDC’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were 2424 highway fatalities in Florida during 2012 (most recent data). Of those, alcohol contributed to 34% (824) of the deaths. Although the number of total alcohol related highway fatalities has significantly declined over the past 10 years, 34% of deaths resulting from alcohol is 34% too many. Hence the importance of DUI checkpoints and the immense public safety danger the fair DUI flyer potentially creates for all of us.

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  6. Douglas

    Rob – the fair DUI flyer creates an ‘immense public safety danger’? I hope, Comrade, that your ‘papers are in order’ the next time your stopped by the police! Since WHEN is educating the public on their rights when confronted by the police and advising them on how to avoid being wrongly arrested and/or harassed by over-zealous and/or corrupt cops? It has been said that ignorance of the law is no defense, but with you it seems that neither is education!

    Reply
    1. Rob

      Douglas…my friend…we all have several rights as outlined by our forefathers. The one to which you refer is the right to be free from unnecessary search and seizure. The one I refer to is the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If law enforcement officers turn a blind eye to this flyer and allow potentially impaired drivers who are using it to uphold their rights to escape detection at a checkpoint (which you believe they are entitled to), I and every other educated person in the world forefits their right to live a long and potentially happy life. I know I for one don’t want to be killed by an uneducated fool who chose to drink and drive and exercise his right to be free from an unnecessary search. So, Douglas, my friend, I willend by saying there is not harm in educating the public. However, the public should be educated on BOTH sides of the issue.

      Reply
  7. Rob

    Overzealous and corrupt cops huh? Sounds like you’re a little jaded Douglas ole boy. Had one too many unpleasant run ins with law enforcement yourself?

    Reply
  8. Princess

    I live in a small town in NJ where the police use every little excuse to pull over people hoping to get a DUI or find drugs. I was pulled over because I didn’t dim my bright lights soon enough! So I am not going to use this to get out of drinking and driving – I am going to start using this to protect myself from these overzealous public servants.

    Reply
    1. Chris S.

      I live in NJ and have many of the same issues. I feel the name of this practice/flyer actually hurts what it is trying to do. What you said is my EXACT reasoning for encouraging this flyer though. We are not a cash crop for our community to take advantage of nor are we EVER supposed to feel victimized for making small mistakes.

      Reply
  9. Ax D. WhiteMan

    I don’t drink. I still want one of these signs.

    Let’s be clear. These are not “drunk driving stops.” They are “compliance stops.” They take the opportunity to detain you to make sure you are in complete compliance.

    License, Registration, Insurance, unpaid tickets, outstanding warrants.

    Soon to be added, unpaid child support, delinquent taxes, and a right to impound your vehicle for any violation thereof.

    Hope this New Jersey idiot is the first to lose his car for being late on a child support payment.

    Reply
  10. Dan Pendergast

    I’m not sure why you gave the attention to the New Jersey moron’s letter that you did. That being said, I was arrested in South Carolina for DUI although I had not been drinking at all. When I refused to answer questions at a stop and started asking my own questions, the cop got shaken and called for backup. As backup arrived I heard a cop ask “Has he been drinking?” and the response was “He must be on something. He won’t cooperate.” They just can’t stand it when you won’t cooperate. It brings out the beast in them.

    Police are not public servants no matter how much we would like to believe that dribble. They are not even law officers or peace officers. They are there to enforce public policy [hence the title ‘police’] and their duty under the guise of protecting the public is to raise a revenue.

    Most people are not aware that every single arrest for any departure from public policy causes bonds to be written, such as a bid bond, a performance bond and an appearance bond. If convicted and incarcerated they write an incarceration bond. Bonds are sold on the commercial market and those sales are the life blood of the government.

    You can tell how much a government is in debt by how many prisoners it maintains because each prisoner represents some amazing credits [bonds] for the government, Federal, State, and local. The United States of America has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners.

    There are many ways to deal with a ticket or even an arrest. My daughter called a few months ago and said she got a ticket for expired tag, expired insurance, tinted windows and out of state license and the fine was going to be $800 and court cost were going to be $135. I explained that the court she would be going into would be a court of consent. They all are. I gave her instructions which she followed. I told her to wait until the judge told her the amount of the fine and costs the court was requesting.

    Here is the exchange with the judge.
    Judge: “Your fine is $800 and Court Costs are $135”.
    Heather: “I’m sorry Your Honor, I can’t accept your offer. I have no money”.
    Judge: “OK, I’ll reduce the fine to $400 and $135 costs”.
    Heather: “I’m sorry Your Honor, I can’t accept your offer. I have no money”.
    Judge: Pausing and looking around the courtroom. “Alright then, I guess we’ll just suspend the fine, but you will have to pay the costs”.
    Here’s where I told her to throw the court a bone to save face.
    Heather: “I’m sorry Your Honor but I can’t accept that offer either as I still have no money, however, I could do some community service if it pleases the court”.
    Judge: “In that case I’m going to sentence you to 20 hours community service”.
    She called me the next day to excitedly tell “It worked”.

    She had asked me what she should do if the judge said that there was no negotiating the fine or costs. I told her to ask the judge this question: “Are you trying to force me to contract with you against my will?” I believe that question will stop a judge right in their tracks. Forcing one to contract against one’s will is paramount to forcing one into involuntary servitude or slavery. That, even under public policy is a felony.

    Reply
  11. Kim

    I had to raise an eyebrow at the wording on the letter you received from Jersey. I am from Illinois in a relatively small town where minor vehicle infractions (dim lights, improper use of blinker, etc.) are used on a regular basis to gain access to a vehicle in an attempt to check every vehicle for drugs or other higher penalty infractions of the law. We are all human and are not perfect. Does that give anyone the right to harass every driver? for example, improper use of a blinker stop along with a denied request to search the vehicle (why would you need to search a vehicle for improper use of a blinker after you’ve talked to the driver and there are no signs of impairment and their documents are all in order), brings 3 squad cars and the K9 unit. The K9 “Hits” on the said vehicle. this allows the officer to now search the vehicle with the K9. After all is said and done nothing is found . But wait, there was a “hit” by the K9?? How can that be if nothing is there? Maybe a cue from its handler? We have had officers in our community comment “I’m the K9 officer, I can do what I want” or when an individual is being detained and begins to be questioned and the individual, which as is their constitutional right, asks for a lawyer to be present, meets with “Oh, we are gonna play that game” Since when did our constitutional right to legal search and seizure, the right to remain silent, or the right to council with an attorney a “Game”. It seems as though there is the same wording and point of view of the author from Jersey as our local law enforcement. I was always raised that the police are our friends doing community service to keep us safe and we can trust them as such. However, it seems the process to take down a few bad individuals has become more important than every Americans constitutional rights are. Can their job not be done by abiding by those rights? Above and beyond the DUI issue itself. I think more Americans need to assert those rights. If not asserted, they will continue to carry less and less weight in our society and will we not be taking a step back in time? all that our forefathers fought for and gave their lives for will be lost. We should not be pressured by others to give up our rights because others in society live in fear that someone else “Might” be carrying drugs, or “Might” be drunk or “Might” be a criminal. I also have a question. Could something similar to this sign be used on a wallet card for us all to carry stating we are exercising our constitutional right to remain silent and requesting a lawyer? Please do not label me as Anti-Police as I have family members that are officers that I respect and am thankful for their service, I guess you could label me “Pro-Rights”. Protect me, my family and our community the best humanly possible with regards for all of our rights. That’s really all we can ask.

    Reply
    1. Dan Pendergast

      Yes, we can ask that and we can be damned. I’m sorry to say, but nothing is as it appears to be. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are examples of protections that have been afforded us but only if we know how to access them. Our government has been hi-jacked by international criminals [bankers for the Crown operating at the behest of the Vatican] and is not the same de-jure government we were led to believe we were operating under.

      The only good thing about the whole charade is that said international banksters are required under international law, to give us a remedy from their laws and they do. Our only problem is they don’t have to tell us what the remedy is or where to find it. They keep telling us what they are doing but they do it through the entertainment media so we will just think of it as interesting entertainment. Back in 1939 a movie came out called ‘The Wizard of Oz’. If you recall there was a straw man [just like the one attached to you today], wicked witches [could that be their puppet installed leaders?], an Oz behind the curtain [sounds like the Banksters themselves, small in numbers but making a lot of scary noises to frighten the public]. Dorothy almost loss Toto [toto means all in Latin] when she realized that she wasn’t in Kansas [the real world] anymore. She was in a land of fiction.

      Most of us have few problems dealing with the real world of physics. Its the fictional world [everything written on paper constitutes the fictional world] and how we react to it that creates all our problems.

      Some other movies posing as mere entertainment that delivers a lot of their intent for those able to decipher them are The Matrix, The Truman Show, Castaway, and a lot of old time nursery rhymes. just for starters.

      Quit thinking that the police are here to help us, they’re not, even if some are still good intentioned. Most know their primary function is to raise a revenue for the Creditors of the U.S that is in bankruptcy, the banksters. If you aren’t armed with the proper knowledge and the intestinal fortitude to speak up and enforce your rights you will find yourself at their feet begging for mercy.

      Reply
    2. wredlich Post author

      “I am from Illinois in a relatively small town where minor vehicle infractions … are used on a regular basis to gain access to a vehicle in an attempt to check every vehicle for drugs or other higher penalty infractions of the law. … Does that give anyone the right to harass every driver?”

      Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has essentially said yes to your question.

      Most people consent to such a search. The flyer is designed for these traffic stops and it shows you do not consent. If you are recording you can prove this in Court and now the police have to justify probable cause for any searches. That’s a big part of this.

      Reply
      1. Dan Pendergast

        First of all, I owe the owner of the site an apology. Having seen so many bad examples of lawyer duplicity within the system I commented that lawyers are not there for your benefit but only to run you through the system for their benefit. Sort of like the cartoon that shows a vending machine that dispenses justice. A fellow asks ‘how much does it cost?’ and the other responds ‘I don’t know. You just put in your money until you are broke and then you hope to get some’.

        It is apparent that the lawyer [I hate the term attorney as it has such negative connotations] who sponsors this site does have a legitimate claim to responsibility to his clients otherwise he would not put forth the effort to inform them of their rights. My kudos to him for that. Its a shame that the legal profession has stooped to such a low position that only a minute portion can exhibit any degree of honor.

        Now back to my response to the one who can’t comprehend how it is possible for even the Supreme Court [not the same as the de-jure supreme court] can rule against our protected rights. First of all, this de-facto [present by fact but not lawfully so] regime is like a country club. If you join or even claim to be a member then its rules will be your rules. If you claim to be a U.S. citizen [an absolute impossibility for a flesh and blood man] then they will treat you like one. Even if you don’t make the claim they will treat you like one unless you rebut that presumption. Its in their interest. How can they milk a cow that doesn’t belong to them?

        Reply
      2. Dan Pendergast

        Its me again. I feel a further response is required. The query implied that if we have refused consent at the roadside and that has failed to stop them, what can we do about it because now we are facing a ticket mandated court appearance. The cop on the beat only knows one thing—he has to write so many tickets to keep his job. What the hell do we expect of someone with a low IQ, a referee on our rights? Lets get real.

        If you are forced to go to court all is not lost. Its still a court of consent and you have a choice, either let them kick your ass and steal your energy and/or throw you in jail or refuse your consent. Your choice! You can’t make an informed choice unless you have a certain degree of knowledge of how they work. They count on our lack of such knowledge.

        One of the first things of importance is, they are not who they claim to be. All courts in this country are not governmental entities. Check out your local court on Dunn and Bradstreet. They, like your county government, are listed as private corporations. Yep, they are part of the private country club they assume you belong to and are imposing those private country club codes and statutes on you.

        I think if I was forced to attend one of these private court hearings where I sensed that I was about to be fleeced I would ask some questions, such as:
        [at any time during the proceeding] Your Honor, I’m really confused. Judge: What are you confused about? You: Well, Sir, I don’t recognize you and I don’t recognize that fellow over there [prosecutor] and I don’t recognize this proceeding. I don’t understand any of this [translates: I am not under your law form and I am not under your jurisdiction], however, Judge, I believe that you could clear all this up by answering a simple yes or no question on and for the record. Judge: Well I will if I can. You: Sir, on and for the record, do you have authority over a flesh and blood man standing on the firm dry soil of the land of the Creator? Yes or no, Sir for the record? After about 3 seconds [I guarantee there will be a definite pause before any, if any, response] Sir, I take you silence as acquiescence to my presumption that you have no such authority. I believe that any public business I may have had is now complete and I will now depart. DEPART!!!

        Don’t forget that there is always one last shot to avoid the penalties they want to impose. Its called mitigation. If there is interest in this technique I will post an experience of it being successfully used.

        Reply

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