In the Fair DUI court fight over drivers not rolling down their windows, the Coral Gables police have set their position as to why police need to hold the license in their hands. They claim you can’t see the hologram security feature in the license unless they hold it.
They’re lying. Watch Sgt. Escobar repeat this lie persistently in his testimony, and then see how big of a lie it is.
Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself.
Sheet glass has been transparent for roughly 1000 years. It allows light to pass through.
From a December court appearance on Redlich’s traffic case; From left you can see Sgt. Escobar (the arresting officer), attorney Manuel Guarch for Coral Gables, Warren Redlich, and Traffic Hearing Officer Carman; Photo by Grant Stern of PINAC
We’ve made a lot of progress getting the Fair DUI Flyer into court and it’s time to update our readers.
Working with the journalists from PINAC, Warren challenged a DUI checkpoint in Coral Gables back in August. As we hoped for purposes of getting this into court, Warren was arrested. You read Warren’s description of the arrest, and you can watch PINAC’s video of it here:
There are two court cases going. Warren was “unarrested” at the scene and then ticketed for “failure to exhibit license.” That traffic case was initially dismissed. Coral Gables hired an attorney who made a motion for a rehearing. The case was reopened and a trial was held on January 13th. County Court Judge Steven Leifman found Warren guilty despite numerous issues that called for a different result. Warren filed his “Notice of Appeal” yesterday (document at bottom).
The ticket is a $129 non-moving, non-criminal violation. Despite what would seem a very minor offense, the Coral Gables attorneys submitted over 50 pages of documents. At the first appearance one attorney showed up for the city. Then two came to the next one, along with the arresting officer. For the trial the city sent at least four attorneys. We estimate they’ve spent over $5000 pursuing a minor non-moving violation. Apparently taxpayers are not well represented in Coral Gables.
The other case – and far more important – is Redlich’s federal lawsuit which was filed on January 1st, and served on the various defendants at the trial and afterward. The full document is at bottom but here’s a picture of part of the first page:
There are many issues raised. The biggest underlying issue we are shooting for is the question of whether a driver has to roll down their window at a checkpoint or traffic stop. Some people think this is an obvious yes, but we disagree and we’re not alone. In December the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out a checkpoint case. The reason was different, but one of the judges wrote this:
Must everyone stop at one of these roadblocks? Can one blow off the officer and speed right past? Can a motorist be cited for not stopping? That question is yet to be decided.
There is little or no case law discussing what a driver is required to do in a checkpoint (as well as in traffic stops for things like speeding). This is the heart of our challenge. We believe drivers retain their rights under the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments and we’re fighting for that.
There’s a lot more in our federal lawsuit, but the most critical part is here:
Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, including but not limited to:
a. An order barring Defendants from conducting any checkpoints; or
b. An order strictly limiting the scope of any checkpoints conducted by
Defendants and limiting the manner in which such checkpoints are
c. An order mandating that Defendants, while conducting checkpoints,
wave through anyone who asserts their constitutional rights without
any inquiry or demands; or
d. An order mandating that Defendants, while conducting checkpoints,
wave through anyone who asserts their constitutional rights without any inquiry or demands unless police have articulable probable cause related to the stated purpose of the checkpoint; and
e. An order mandating that Defendants allow, without any interference or hindrance, people to photograph and record checkpoints using photography and both audio and video recording devices.
So if we’ve got this right, by asserting your rights you are “delaying your detainment” and/or will be arrested for doing so. America?
To be clear, the words changed from “display” to “present or submit”. Showing your license through the window is still “presenting” it. And the purpose of the change was for electronic drivers licenses on smart phones, not for physical licenses.