Two States Added and Two New Videos

Fair DUI Flyer-NC-front

Now that the media burst is over, we’re back to work. We’ve added two new states and two new videos.

First up, above, is the front of the North Carolina flyer. See the whole thing including the pdf of it on our North Carolina DUI page.

We also added Virginia which is a tricky state because of a statutory issue about police demanding a “written promise” to appear on the ticket. So we added a written promise on the front of the card. That’s potential for a big argument but sooner or later we’ll find out the hard way how that works.

Here’s a link: Virginia DUI page.

We are also working on a smart phone app that would allow drivers to digitally sign tickets, including this kind of written promise. We’ll update when that’s ready.

We’ve also started a serious of videos about the flyer, and we did the first two of them.

First, we did a video talking about who should use the flyer and who should not:

The second video talks about the difference between a police order and a request, and how you should deal with both:

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9 thoughts on “Two States Added and Two New Videos

  1. Margaret L. McKenzie

    Dear Mr. Wredlich, March 30, 2015
    Your informational words/videos are just wonderful! I have been investigating this subject for quite a number of years, now. I am absolutely concerned with Civil Liberties! Thank You so much for this post. From your big fan,
    Margaret L. McKenzie
    Denver, CO.

    Reply
  2. Michael Pollok

    Warren, aren’t you concerned about having the clients charged with something else like Obstructing Governmental Administration or Resisting Arrest if they refuse to comply with a police officer’s order to roll down the window? It seems to me the officers have authority to ask a motorist to roll down their window if he or she is performing a safety check or in the process of lawfully administering a sobriety check point. What if the officer says he could not communicate with the motorist through the glass? Some states may have more explicit laws requiring you to comply with a lawful police order necessary for him to perform his function. I would be hesitant to advise a client in NY to refuse to roll down their window or not follow a police officer’s instructions at a traffic checkpoint. Are you also warning people that even if you may be technically correct on interpreting the law here, the real life effect maybe the officer getting angry and physically pulling the motorist out of the vehicle, arresting them, charging them with Obstructing Governmental Administration and/or Resisting Arrest in addition to DWI and then putting them in jail for a couple days before they see a judge? Theory is one thing and real life is another . . .

    Obstructing Governmental Administration:
    A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he
    intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law
    or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a
    public servant from performing an official function, by means of
    intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any
    independently unlawful act, or by means of interfering, whether or not
    physical force is involved, with radio, telephone, television or other
    telecommunications systems owned or operated by the state, or a county,
    city, town, village, fire district or emergency medical service or by
    means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evincing the
    actor`s intent that the animal obstruct governmental administration.
    Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor.

    Resisting Arrest
    A person is guilty of resisting arrest when he intentionally prevents
    or attempts to prevent a police officer or peace officer from effecting
    an authorized arrest of himself or another person.
    Resisting arrest is a class A misdemeanor.

    Reply
    1. wredlich Post author

      No, I’m not worried about that. The back of the flyer instructs the user that it’s safer to obey a clearly stated lawful order.

      So that leads to a question: Is the order a lawful order? As a lawyer wouldn’t you like to be able to challenge that in a suppression hearing?

      Reply
      1. Michael Pollok

        Yes of course and I don’t mean to be critical; I am just trying to work this out in my mind. I am glad you initiated this debate because I do believe these checkpoints are abused when the police do not follow the law and guidelines in setting them up and/or implementing them according to a pre-stated plan.

        I guess as long as the client understands that he will have to go through the arrest for us lawyers to get to suppression hearing (if the client can afford a suppression hearing as opposed to a quick plea to a traffic infraction like DWAI or VTL 511-a if you can get it). I think we agree that this is not really a tactic to avoid an arrest but rather to undermine the People’s evidence by refusing to cooperate. Once that window is opened, no matter how it is opened, and the smell of alcohol or marihuana allegedly wafts out of the vehicle, the officer’s level of intrusion is allowed to escalate under the law since they will always claim glassy bloodshot eyes, flushed cheeks, slurred speech (if they speak) and impaired motor coordination when they try and put that flyer up or “fumble” for their license and registration. I am also undecided on this given the possibility of additional Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest charges to the DWI.

        Let me ask this: if the officer believes you are intoxicated from your physical appearance (blood shot eyes, impaired motor coordination etc), would the officer not be justified in smashing in your window or putting a boot on your tire and dragging you out of the vehicle to get a smell of your breath rather than risk having you drive off when he has “reasonable suspicion” (the lower standard to probable cause) to believe you would be committing a continuing crime in his presence if you drove off exhibiting those well known physical signs of intoxication?

        I do endorse that everyone keep their mouths shut on a DWI stop (checkpoint or not) because admissions to drinking and operation of the vehicle hard to overcome given the police right to a so-called investigative interview. If a police officer asks you where you are going and where you are coming from and how much you drank, I would ask for an attorney and remain silent and yes follow police instructions like turn off the vehicle, provide license and registration, and perhaps to roll down the window for a sniff so he can eliminate probable cause you are operating the vehicle illegally in his presence. Whether you make a statement or not, you will not stop the rest from happening if you have been drinking: field sobriety tests, portable breath screening and then having to decide whether to refuse the breathalyzer or blood test (which are all complex subjects on their own). Sometimes we can win a case but for the client’s admissions within the first few seconds of the stop.

        Anyway, I don’t have an answer but enjoy the debate to a difficult question.

        Reply
        1. wredlich Post author

          “I guess as long as the client understands that he will have to go through the arrest for us lawyers to get to suppression hearing (if the client can afford a suppression hearing as opposed to a quick plea to a traffic infraction like DWAI or VTL 511-a if you can get it). I think we agree that this is not really a tactic to avoid an arrest but rather to undermine the People’s evidence by refusing to cooperate.”

          No, we do not agree. This is a tactic first of all to assert your rights rather than waive them as most of our clients do.

          Second, by asserting our rights, it is harder for bad cops to manufacture the probable cause they need for an arrest.

          Third, I do agree that drivers should not do this if they’re going to plead to a DWAI rather than fight the case through a suppression hearing. And at this point in NY DWI law, I would never recommend any driver take a DWAI. The consequences are almost as bad as a DWI. It’s not a bargain any more.

          “Let me ask this: if the officer believes you are intoxicated from your physical appearance (blood shot eyes, impaired motor coordination etc), would the officer not be justified in smashing in your window or putting a boot on your tire and dragging you out of the vehicle to get a smell of your breath rather than risk having you drive off when he has “reasonable suspicion””

          I don’t believe an officer can genuinely detect bloodshot eyes or impaired motor coordination if the driver is using the flyer. And bloodshot eyes alone are not enough for probable cause. Reasonable suspicion is not enough to support the 4th Amendment violation of getting into the driver’s car.

    2. wredlich Post author

      “and then putting them in jail for a couple days before they see a judge?”

      You mean police would deny someone bail for asserting their rights?

      Maybe the problem is police abuse of power, rather than citizens asserting their rights.

      Reply
      1. Michael Pollok

        Well the police in NYC can decide whether to release someone with a Desk Appearance Ticket after they sober up or put then through the system which as you know can be a couple of days. Upstate being held on an a misdemeanor for arraignment is less common because the police don’t have the holding cells to keep the person for the next day but yes, sadly, my clients report update that the police threaten them that if they refuse the test they will be held to see the judge in the morning or whenever. Of course if we can prove that was said, the test should be suppressed because it was coerced. I am looking forward to the new world of law enforcement requiring officers to wear body cams.

        Reply
  3. Mike

    Thanks for this! Could you do one for DC as well? I imagine that might be more complicated because of the DC Metro police vs. federal police issue, but any advice you could offer for those within the District would be much appreciated!

    Reply

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