44 replies on “Pennsylvania DUI”

  1. § 1511. Carrying and exhibiting driver’s license on demand.
    (a) General rule.–Every licensee shall possess a driver’s license issued to the licensee at all times when driving a motor vehicle and shall exhibit the license upon demand by a police officer, and when requested by the police officer the licensee shall write the licensee’s name in the presence of the officer in order to provide identity.

    I’m guessing that you could do this while inside your car with the windows still up…but you might want to keep a pen handy with your sign…

  2. Under definitions in pa vehicle code section 102 exhibit is defined as follows, Exhibit- ” Surrender of a document into the temporary possession of a person for the purpose of examining the document”. This means to me you must give the license to the police. Any ideas on this? Thanks

  3. Yes, but the Supreme Court has said that driving on public roads is a privilege not a right and can be controlled by the states. Pa state constitution is more protective than the US constitution, but because the operation of a vehicle on a roadway is not a right, the vehicle code’s requirement that you actually hand the document to law enforcement is enforceable. To tell individuals that they don’t, could potentially lead to much more serious charges. If someone wants to just crack the window and pass the document out, that would be acceptable, but the must be handed over for examination.

  4. Its more how many times it has said it. Frank J. Kane v. The State of New Jersey, In the majority opinion, Justice Louis Brandeis, said the that the state’s power was “…properly exercised in imposing a license fee …”. In 1999, the 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, in the case of Donald S. Miller v. the California Department of Motor Vehicles, ruled that there simply is no “fundamental right to drive.
    you are unfortunately giving information to unsuspecting people that will end up getting them into more trouble and possibly getting them hurt. Focus on what the whole law says not just bits and pieces that promote your self-serving cause…

  5. Rich,I concur with your analysis of the legal issues. However, I must politely but firmly disagree with your characterization of Warren’s cause as “self-serving.”
    I’ve extensively engaged with him in the “DUI Law” LinkedIn discussion group, and while I often disagree with him, I have significant respect for him. As with everyone, he’s occasionally mistaken, but he’s genuinely motivated by libertarian principles, not greed or a desire for attention.

  6. Not sure how it is self serving. I don’t drink and drive. My law practice is small and unaffected by the publicity.

    But it does serve my selfish desire to live in a free country I guess.

  7. There is a fundamental right to travel. And once you have a license it is a vested property right.

  8. “Must be handed over for examination”

    Does the officer have probable cause to believe the license is not genuine?

    Does he have other means to check that without violating the Fourth Amendment? Write down the license number and checking it in the police car computer. Does the photo match? Does it look like the driver? Is it valid?

    This solves the problem without violating the Constitution.

    We all know the real reason you want the window open is so you can smell for the odor of alcoholic beverage, marijuana, etc.

    Please don’t pretend you’re seriously checking the validity of the license.

    I’ve handled over 4000 traffic cases. None involved a fake license.

  9. http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/234/chapter4/s403.html

    Read the first line in the comment section of this Rule 403.

    It says: ” A law enforcement officer may prepare, verify, and transmit a citation electronically. The law enforcement officer contemporaneously must give the defendant a paper copy of the citation containing all the information required by this rule. Nothing in this rule is intended to require the defendant to sign the citation. “

  10. So put everything in a zip lock bag and hang it out the window before getting to the officers

  11. As a LEO you are aware I can order you and your passengers out of your vehicles for my safety, Maryland v. Wilson also see Pennsylvania v. Mimms. Thank you!

  12. Ashley, you are correct and I apologize for that blanket statement, more accurately i should have said that half truths based on a casual reading of the law could end up getting someone in more difficulty. As I indicated the Supreme Court has desided on several occasions that driving is not a fundamental right. I heard no response to the case law I provided. I don’t necessarily disagree that the intrusion is overbearing, but we must follow the law as well. Holding your license up to the window inside the car is probably going to get you stopped and face additional charges for failing to comply with title 75 sec 6308. Most officers are not going to let you drive through a checkpoint with only waving your drivers license at them. As suggested by a poster,you could hang your license out the window in a bag for the officer to examine,this would comply with law at face value. As far as a license being personal property, once again the Supreme Court has held that the drivers license is issued by the state it is not personal property and can be suspended, recalled or revoked, under the states laws and administrative rules. If as stated the license is personal property and owned by the person, then why do we need to get licenses renewed, we should be able to just make our own license and not have to go through the state at all. Finally I will not argue that the reason the offer wants the window down is to detect illegal activity in the vehicle, but to say there are no fake drivers licenses is an obsurd statement. Go to fake id .com, you can buy a fake drivers license for any state for a100 bucks. The attorney may have never seen one in his practice, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I have dealt with numerous false licenses, he apparently doesn’t practice in a college town. Stand up for your rights, but be informed about the law, the whole law not just selected portions that promote your cause. Thanks have a great day

  13. Fredrick, you are correct, but In order to remove subjects from the vehicle, it must be a traffic stop based on reasonable suspicion or probable cause. The contacts being discussed here are checkpoints and you can’t order someone out of the car without more. I would argue if you just place your license against the window from inside, that is failing to comply with sec 6308 and now there is probable cause of a violation of title 75 and you could find yourself detained and then ordered out of the vehicle. Again please know the whole law so you don’t put yourself in bad situation.

  14. You know what cops think of jail house lawyers?

    Now you know what lawyers think of cops who think they know the law.

    You try to pull Mimms on one of my clients and see what happens.

    Maybe you should try respecting the Constitution and honoring your oath instead of looking for ways around it.

  15. 75-6308 says driver must exhibit license. Showing it through the window is exhibiting it.

    Why is it insufficient?

    Yes I did practice in a college town. Albany NY. Fake IDs may be common for getting into bars but not for driving.

    You still don’t need it in your hand to check it. Write down the license number and run it in your computer.

    How much training do you have in inspecting licenses?

    Yes a driver’s license it’s a vested property right. Wonderful seeing another cop emulate jailhouse lawyers.

    You’re not a lawyer. Stop trying to pretend you are one.

  16. I won’t continue to beat this subject to death, but as a retired police officer and an attorney I will say that you need to pull back the rhetoric and read the law. You again are arguing a point without reading the law and the definitions which apply. I have examined thousands of licenses both as a cop and as a defense attorney, the difference is I know the law in Pa. You obviously do not. I am truly glad there is a disclaimer on these pages advising to speak to an attorney who practices law in the state, if not there would be some definite cases for malpractice. Don’t make assumptions about people and their professions just because they don’t agree with you. I gave you Supreme Court citations regarding drivers licenses and states power….I have heard nothing regarding that besides more rhetoric and “try that with my clients “. I will end my post with one thought, know what your talking about before you put yourself out as an expert. I wish you and your clients the best they will need it.
    Good luck….

  17. Sorry just wanted to again give you the legal definition of exhibit under Pa law,which is apparently different in the great state of NY.

    Exhibit- ” Surrender of a document into the temporary possession of a person for the purpose of examining the document”
    Please read the whole law!

  18. You keep avoiding my questions.

    How much training does a typical police officer have in inspecting licenses?

    Why can’t the officer write down the license number and check it in his car computer, rather than infringe the 4th Amendment?

    What is the penalty for violating 6308?

    On another note, what was the officer’s explanation for ordering the driver out of the car in Mimms?

    What will SCOTUS say when an officer says: “He asserted his rights so I ordered him out of the car for my safety” ?

    That case hasn’t happened yet.

  19. Remaining silent while cracking the window with a clear ziplock bag containing the above card along with your PA Drivers License, Insurance and Registration is the correct way to do this. You could even edit the instructions to say the officer is to put the ziplock bag under your windshield wipers so you don’t have to open the window again.

  20. So if someone fails to “exhibit” or according to Sec 102 hand it over, the cop can write a citation and the defendent can produce the license within 15 days and not be found guilty.

    Try again Kop. Your lures suck and your bait smells.

  21. Questions
    – does this apply to a NON-PA license, held by someone who happens to be driving in PA?
    – I don’t drink, let alone drink &drive, nor do I use any chemistry not avail over the counter or prescribed (nor allow anyone that does into my vehicle). Should I still do these anyway, just to assert rights?

  22. Police have a tough and dangerous job. But, for far too long, they have abused their authority and victimized undeserving citizens in various ways, just because they could… or, just to be jerks. I see the use of Fair DUI, not as a tool to avoid breaking the law and endangering innocent lives, but, as a means of keeping law enforcement officers within the boundaries of their authority, with respect to traffic stops, at least.

    Thank you for maintaining this site!

  23. Being a former police officer I don’t understand why at a dui check point you would go to this extreme u less you were under the influence. Look I wasn’t out there to harrass or abuse the citizen. Creating all this paranoia for nothing here. I always played it straight as long as the citizen played it straight with me. As well as I don’t wanna hold anyone up. Pull up hand your info over it takes me seconds to verify and let’s get you out of there.

    I did the same with car stops. If you did something totally wrong infront of me. Depending on what it was. All I wanted when I pulled you over was the “I know I was wrong and am sorry” guess those never received a ticket, was quick paperwork rhat i did stop you and left you off with a warning and have a wonderful day. But if you lied, (females) showed cleavage, (yeah im married and its insulting) wanted to argue then here’s your ticket we can argue in court.

    All this anti cop and wanting to video, intimidate and argue with police today it’s stupid. I saw a video camera then yes I’m going to do my job, ticket you so when you put it on youtube or the news it shows that I did my job. But I never had to deal with the bs as of today. And yes I seen thousands of this fake international drivers licenses plus I came across hundreds of fake pa licenses in my career. Here in philadelphia we tow the vehicle if you show us false documents. No drivers license, no insurance, no registration or anything suspended we have car towed on spot.

    If you havnt been drinking or under the influence of any narcotics then why go through all this bs? I was only out there to make the roads safer for the citizen protecting you from being involved in a horrible accident from someone who doesn’t care about anyone else except themself. During my years you know how many times I called taxi for a guy stumbling outside a bar. Or drove drunks home instead of arresting them? Thousands of times. Cops are not your enemy they are there to help you and protect the public. Don’t listen to these idiot anti cop lawyers who probably havnt been around long enough or been in court enough to help you. They interpret the law as they think it’s suppose to be. Me and that retired cop have more time in court seeing everything and all the games. We know how the court system works. Don’t believe me contact big dui lawyer here in philly Joe Kelly. Awesome guy and awesome lawyer. Also you’re first dui here, you can go through the program and it goes away. As long as you never get another dui or were involved in a accident where someone else was injuried.

    Don’t give that cop a hard time 99% of the time we are really nice and just want to do their job and go home to his wife and family. Court is where you argue not during the stop, in the street or whatever the circumstances are. Which I am so happy we finally went to body cameras as well. But I’ve had one since early 2000’s best investment I ever made. Video does tell the whole story to the judge and to the jury.

  24. Title 75 Chapter 15 Subchapter A § 1511
    (b) Production to avoid penalty.–No person shall be convicted of violating this section or section 1501(a) (relating to drivers required to be licensed) if the person:
    (1) produces at the headquarters of the police officer who demanded to see the person’s license, within 15 days of the demand, a driver’s license valid in this Commonwealth at the time of the demand; or
    (2) if a citation has been filed, produces at the office of the issuing authority, within 15 days of the filing of the citation, a driver’s license valid in this Commonwealth on the date of the citation.

    Could this be a means to legally not “exhibit” the documents at the time? There is an identical Production to avoid penalty cost specifically for Registration and insurance. Only difference is a 5 day window.
    Title 75 Chapter 17 Subchapter H § 1786 (G)
    Title 75 Chapter 13 Subchapter A §1311 (B)

  25. Title 75 Chapter 63 Subchapter A §6311. Enforcement authority.
    If a driver fails or refuses to comply with the requirements of a police officer or qualified Commonwealth employee given pursuant to this title, the police officer or Commonwealth employee shall have authority to take the vehicle into temporary custody for the purpose of inspecting, testing or weighing the vehicle, its equipment, documents or load. In addition to any fine or penalty attributable to the weight, inspection, test or other offense, any driver who fails or refuses to comply commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $500. Any costs incurred in weighing, testing or inspecting shall be paid by the driver to the person or agency incurring the costs or to the issuing authority for payment to the person or agency incurring the costs.

    Also this seems ridiculously broad. Am I just not reading this correctly? Am I missing something? “Do what I say or I’ll slap you with a $500 fine and keep your car for an undisclosed amount of time without actually impounding it.”

  26. So, basically the office should just take the bag with information until the string comes out of the car and then you have to roll the window to accept it back.

  27. It says to write your name.
    It does not specify whether to write in cursive, or to print, or to write as it appears on your license.

  28. Rick,
    That’s a fair point. Perhaps knot the string, so it becomes a minor feat of strength to pull it from the window?

    I’m neither a lawyer nor a police officer. It would seem if the police cut the strings, cut the bag open, or use more than casual strength to pull the strings, they could compel a driver to crack the window to retrieve documents. Secure it with fifty feet of string? Heh.

    I’m not sure it would be legal to drive a vehicle with a ziploc bag under the wiper. I’ll leave that for folks who know the law(s). Perhaps a line on the flyer stating “If the documents become separated from bag or the string becomes detached, please place the bag under the passenger wiper and I will retrieve it in 100 ft.” Spitballing.

    However, if it were to come to that level of “cat and mouse,” I think it would be fair – if perhaps unsuccessful – to argue the officer’s intent was no longer motivated by safety inspection. I won’t argue “destruction of property,” because I can see if being countered by, “I didn’t know how else to get it” or something to that effect. But how would a police officer argue he needed to cut strings, bags, or pull excessive lengths of string until the bag became detached?

    I don’t consider this “Anti-cop.” It’s pro-rights. I think the police are asked, too often, to step into legal grey areas to satisfy political will and are left to hang if something goes badly. Their job is tough enough without having them worry about getting charged or sued just for doing what they were told was okay.

  29. I’ve only been through a DUI checkpoint twice both times I stopped roll down my window chatted with the officer for a moment. Seeing as Im not usually doing anything wrong that would require interaction with them for more than a quick three-minute conversation, I can’t say I feel a need to be an arrogant prick to guys just trying to do a job. If you are not doing anything wrong you have nothing to be concerned with. If they break the law in anyway through the course of the checkpoint.like, guess what, a nice fat check will follow. At least if something like that happened to me that’s what would happen. People need to grow up, it’s a good thing to try to prevent drunk driving, that kills people every year.

  30. Your belief in there nice fat check is sadly mistaken. Police are protected by qualified immunity.

    And three minutes is much longer than a checkpoint conversation should take.

    Fair DUI is not about being arrogant. It is about asserting your rights. When cops get arrested that’s what they do.

  31. Hello,
    I am happy to hear that you are one of the good ones, but that has not been the case for me. I am a regular law abiding, educated, christian, adult, female. I am not rude or disre-spectful, I do not drink or do illegal drugs. I have been victimized by bad police who have lied straight to my face and in court under oath. Quite frankly I was raised to honor and trust police officers, but my life experience has taught me the opposite. Now I have no reason to believe that an officer would have my best interest at heart. Here are my reasons:

    1- I received a parking violation for parking on the Right side of a clearly designated line. When I pointed it out to the officer that I had not violated the law and he saw that he made a mistake, he acknowledged it then he shrugged his shoulders and as he walked away he told me to fight it in court. Which I tried to do, but when the judge asked him for the truth HE LIED!

    2- I received a traffic violation for making an Illigal Left Turn on a two-way street that allows left turns to get on the highway. Yet, as I was turning left with the other cars in line that were also turning left, an officer flagged me over. He told me I made an Illigal Left Turn. I ask, How could that be possible? The light has a left turn arrow and the light was green. Cars that were in front of me and behind me still continued to turn left as he gave me the ticket for the Illigal Left Turn. When we went to court the officer LIED UNDER OATH. He told the judge that it was a one-way street and that I was driving against the traffic. I could not believe my ears… I could not believe that the judge acknowledged the officer and when I asked him to please verify the truth with a map he threatened me with contempt.

    3- My daughter and I had been victims of domestic violence. That night I called the police because I feared for our lives. An offer showed up and to my surprise we were harrassed and removed from the house because the officer believed my husband’s lie – he told the officer we had attacked him. Evidence- My daughter and I were bruised and bleeding, but there were no marks or blood on my husband. We had to go to the hospital. The doctor reported in incident to the authorities. An official complaint was filed. Photos were taken. Then we went to a shelter because we had no were to go. We lived in the shelter for 6 months and when our case finally went before the judge I was shocked. The photos had disappeared and my husband, his lawyer and the officer were ALL LIEING to the judge. Then the judge asked us to tell our story and we did. Thank God we were councilled to take our own photos that night. The judge ruled in our favor. My husband was then sentenced, but before we left the courtroom the judge called us up to his bench and encouraged us to press charges against the officer for his gross misbehaviour. The story does not end here. I went everyday to the police station for 2 weeks with my daughter. We waited endless hours for someone to attend us, but we were continually told to sit and wait and no one would attend us. It seemed like every time we walked in everyone would suddenly disappear. At this point my daughter no longer wanted to go, but we continued going until one day I noticed that everyone would jump into action when a certain person was around. Well, that certain person was of very high ranking and he had seen me day in and day out waiting with my daughter. That day he passed right by me and then doubled back to ask me if I was being attended. This was our opportunity, we told him the truth and filed the complaint against the officer. There was an investigation. The officer was found guilty. Someone came to our house and presented us with three options to choose against the officer. The three choices were: 1- Get him fired. 2- Get him demoted. 3- Probation & Retaining. We asked if we could think about our choice. For two days my daughter and I struggled with our choice. We chose to get him demoted with probation and retraining. My husband paid the time for his crime. Time in jail, 2 yrs probation with anger management classes, we sued him for damages and I divorced him. I have never seen or spoken to him since. Unfortunately this incident has damaged my relationship with my daughter to this day because she blames me.

  32. Had to comment. 7 Russian truck drivers from NY, (Garbage Haulers) caught in the VA scale house, all with the same drivers license, but each one had their individual picture on the license. Yes I am a truck driver not a cop.

  33. Too bad You are not the Commander of the PSP in Franklin County. Amazing how a county with only 120,000 people can be the Top County for DUI arrest in the whole state for many years. Especially when Philadelphia county has 1, 100, 000 residents!!!

  34. I don,t drink and drive or use drugs when I drive my car or fly my airplane.
    I was born in Tennessee which qualifies me as an American citizen.
    I swore an oath to defend the constitution from ALL enemies both foreign and domestic.
    I WILL fight to preserve the blessings of liberty for me and my posterity.

    I therefore, DO have something to fear when being detained without suspicion.
    And you would fear it too if you had any idea how hard it is to regain rights once you have given them away.

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