Bad DUI Checkpoint Advice, or a Good Idea?

Should you keep your window rolled up and place your ID, registration and a brief statement in a zip-lock bag outside of your window for officers when going through a DUI checkpoint or safety roadblock? No, no you shouldn't. 

While placing a baggie with your ID and registration outside your window can keep you from having to roll the window down, it can also stir up a host of other troubles and draw extra scrutiny from the officers. Some Law Enforcement Agencies have gone as far as saying they will arrest people on charges of obstruction of justice for the practice. While this may not hold up later in court, it may cause you to spend a night in jail regardless. I wouldn't recommend this tactic to any of my clients. 

A recently published article by the American Bar Association titled "Lawyer's controversial DUI-checkpoint advice: Put license in baggie outside car and roll up window" details how one Florida attorney is spreading tips to protect the rights of the American people. 

"Attorney Warren Redlich suggests that motorists put their license, registration, proof of insurance and a flyer in a plastic baggie attached to the exterior of their vehicle and then roll up the driver’s window as they approach the checkpoint, according to Tampa’s Fox 13 News and PINAC News.

One example of the flyer states in large-font capital letters “I remain silent,” “no searches” and “I want my lawyer.” It cites statutory law to support the driver’s claimed right not to roll down the window, explaining that any ticket can be placed under the windshield wiper and advising that the driver will obey “clearly stated lawful orders.”

Critics say the approach shields motorists from the consequences of driving under the influence by preventing officers from smelling any odor of alcohol and hearing whether their speech is slurred. Redlich disagrees, explaining that his approach protects motorists from overzealous enforcement and dubious subjective claims, as he sees it."  - POSTED JAN 08, 2015 08:20 AM CST BY MARTHA NEIL - ABA Criminal Justice Section 

Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense and carries many life changing consequences. 

When approaching a DUI Checkpoint the best thing to do is remain calm, follow the officers instructions as well as the flow of traffic. Asking for proof of ID and registration is not in violation of your civil rights and the practice of traffic stops has been upheld by the Supreme Court to help protect the safety and well being of all drivers on the road. 

That being said, if you have been stopped and selected out of the group for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, you need to be on your best behavior and follow the advice of some of my other blog posts. Keeping your window up and not listening to officers directions as well as weaving, having difficulty stopping or driving erratically may end you in this same boat. The best way to stay out of trouble and stay safe is to have a sober driver, or take a cab. If you find yourself in trouble, please call The Law Offices of Thomas A. Smith immediately following your arrest so that I can help provide the best defense available. 


I handle matters including Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Drug Related Defense, Violent Crimes, Personal Injury Claims, Auto Accident Claims, Family Law Matters, and many more in the extended Charleston, SC Lowcountry region which includes: James Island, Mt. Pleasant, Folly Beach, Johns Island, Daniel Island, West Ashley, Summerville, North Charleston, Hanahan, Goose Creek, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island, Edisto Island, Edisto Beach, Moncks Corner, Dorchester, Ladson, Wadmalaw Island, Mc Clellanville, Awendaw, Huger, Ridgeville, Jacksonboro, Ravenel, Hollywood, Pinopolis, Adams Run & Cottageville. Includes Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester County, and Colleton County.

am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer until you have come to my office and we have discussed the terms of your representation. This article is my opinion and is not stated as fact or legal advice.