Libertarian Lawyer Offers 'This One Trick' for Dealing with DUI Checkpoints

Police aren't happy about it.


I'm cynically waiting for them to deploy the drug-sniffing dogs.

Warren Redlich, back in 2010, was the Libertarian Party candidate for governor of New York (Nick Gillespie even highlighted him on the blog here). Needless to say, he didn't win.

But Redlich is back in the news getting publicity for his method of dealing with police DUI checkpoints in Florida (where he lives now) while protecting one's constitutional rights. It's getting him attention from USA Today and the Associated Press, and a video he posted showing his method in action has gotten more than two million views on YouTube.

His method is fairly simple. Display your driver's license and proof of insurance in a plastic sleeve along with a flyer saying you remain silent, refuse search requests, and want a lawyer, among other things. Then hang them outside the fully closed driver's side window and approach the checkpoint. Then the driver has to commit to not speaking or rolling down the window, so as not to give police any sort of opening to say they smelled alcohol or that the driver slurred his or her words.

Some police are, of course, not happy about this system. From the Associated Press:

Police across Florida have seen the video. A spokeswoman for a large metro police agency says Gray's experience at the checkpoint doesn't mean the no-talk tactic is legitimate.

"He was allowed to proceed because he clearly was not driving while intoxicated," said Veda Coleman-Wright, spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office. "If those officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver was impaired, they would have investigated further."

Well yes, but Redlich's system makes it harder for police to just fabricate a reason, which is his declared goal. He pointed out in a video to the Associated Press that this method is complex enough and requires enough patience and discipline to make it hard for actual drunken drivers to replicate.

Redlich has a site here with the flyer, specifically designed for use in Florida. Watch his video below:

(Hat tip to Ken C.)

NEXT: Vince Vaughn Talks Libertarianism With Playboy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. My trick is that DUI checkpoints are illegal in Texas, deemed unconstitutional under the US constitution not the Texas one even.

    1. Well, sure, the copy of the Constitution that you have says that police can’t effectively arrest or stop you absent individualized probable cause.

      But the copy SCOTUS appears to be working off must be vastly different, since they said these are constitutional.

      The FYTW copy.

    2. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $12600 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.


  2. K9 officers can smell the alcohol through glass.

  3. Good grief, Reason, what’s with slamming out 3 and 4 articles at a time today? The Koch brothers don’t pay me enough to comment at that pace.

    1. Nobody is forcing you to comment on all of them… Lol… Just thought you could use some good ol fashioned libertarian philosophy to get you through the day…

  4. OT: Speaking today in Iowa, Vice President Joe Biden called out to his “old butt buddy” Neil Smith, wondering whether his friend was in attendance for his speech. “Neal Smith,” Biden said, “an old butt buddy. Are you here, Neal? Neal, I miss you man. I miss you.”



    1. Does Biden smoke?

      I’m guessing that he meant smoking buddy and not the more common venacular meaning of the phrase.

      1. Or maybe he just needed his ass plowed.

    2. I don’t get the WTF?

      butt buddies

      Two very close friends that spend a lot of time together, and are rarely seen apart from each other.

      That’s the same meaning I would use for that phrase.

      1. From your link:

        10 Words related to butt buddies
        butt buddy ?
        gay ?
        anal ?
        homo ?
        fag ?
        homosexual ?
        buddy ?
        friend ?
        anal sex ?

      2. Governor: I believe that I might have come up with a compromise to this whole problem that will make everyone happy! People in the gay community want the same rights as married couples, but dissenters don’t want the word “marriage” corrupted. So how about we let gay people get married, but call it something else?

        [everyone listens quietly]

        Governor: You homosexuals will have all the exact same rights as married couples, but, instead of referring to you as “married”, you can be… butt buddies.

        [long silence]

        Governor: Instead of being “man and wife”, you’ll be… butt buddies. You won’t be “betrothed”, you’ll be…

        [makes quote with his fingers]

        Governor: …butt buddies. Get it? Instead of a “bride and groom”, you’d be…

        [makes quote with his fingers again]

        Governor: …butt buddies.

        Mr. Slave: We wanna be treated equally!

        Governor: You *are* equal. It’s just that, instead of getting engaged, you would be… butt buddies. And everyone is happy!

        1. But what about lesbians?

          1. Who gives a shit about those dikes?

        2. You have now won the internet.

  5. This story is a month old

  6. Real widespread civil disobedience would put an end to all of this shit. They can’t arrest everyone. If everyone or a large minority did this, or refused to pay their speeding and parking tickets, the whole system would fall apart. You can’t rule a population that refuses to be ruled. Even the most brutal and murderous governments haven’t been able to do such.

    1. There has to be a way for some Reason commenters to organize some sort of civil disobedience against DUI check points.

      How come only the fucking hippies are able to organize protests?

      1. Because they don’t have jobs or anything else to do?

      2. What RC said. And they also have rich parents to bail their sorry asses out of jail.

        1. Now, I think you are conflating hippies (well, neo-hippies mostly, very few actual hippies still exist) with trustafarians. I know lots of both. It’s a fine distinction, but one worth making, I think.

          1. I exist. But I was from the armed non-violence wing. Does that count?

            1. Don’t be threatening ME with yer non-violence, dammit!!!!

              1. In more detail? WHY do I find your non-violence to be threatening?! Because you challenge my self-esteem! As one who relishes violence (mostly conducted by others, who serve the State) on behalf of me and my selfish interests, your non-violence hurts my baby feelings. Bad things are bad. Bad feelings are bad. You cause my bad feelings, so therefor it is obvious that you are just plain BAD! And I who am hurt by your badness, must be wrapped in pure victimized goodness!

                (See, moral superiority jujitsu is not all that hard).

      3. Have we already forgotten the Tea Party?

        More important than not having jobs (though related) is not having anything to lose for getting arrested on some bullshit. Those of us with jobs and stuff don’t really want to deal with the disruption that an arrest would cause.

        1. Pretty much this. It’s a lot less of a hassle/ disruption to one’s life to simply knuckle under to petty tyrannies like DUI checkpoints and parking fines instead of fighting the system on the principle of the matter.

      4. And there are lots of hippies, but only like 6 of us.

    2. You can’t rule a population that refuses to be ruled.

      Agreed. Given our populace, I expect state issued ‘not driving drunk’ placards to be required by law that I can conveniently pick up and pay for at my local DMV sometime next year.

      For an extra fee, you can specially designed MADD or FOP placard to compliment any bumper stickers you may have.

    3. You go first John.

      We’re all right behind you.

  7. A spokeswoman for a large metro police agency says Gray’s experience at the checkpoint doesn’t mean the no-talk tactic is legitimate.

    A little thingy called The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution would not agree with you, sir.

    1. The Fifth Amendment isn’t the one standing there with a gun and a baton and taser and a bunch of its locker-room buddies willing to back up its story that you were belligerent and combative.

      1. Indeed, in the practical sense, bullies do not care about that pesky thing called the Constitution and can externalize their contempt by pounding your head against the pavement. But that in itself does not make the no-talk “tactic” illegitimate.

      2. Well thats a depressing thought.

  8. Could the cops legally make an issue out of something hanging outside of your car while it is moving that is not part of the car or something along those lines?

    1. That would be my concern with this technique too.

    2. I was thinking that also.

      And that you’ll never see your license, registration, an proof of insurance again.

      1. “The commenter’s typing was slurred.”

    3. Cop: “he was operating the vehicle with an obstruction across the driver’s side window. I needed to detain the driver to issue a citation, at which point I noticed the driver’s eyes were bloodshot, and I smelled the odor of (drumroll, please) burnt marijuana.”

      Defense Attorney: “I object to the witness’ testimony your honor, on the grounds that if ‘He smelt it, he dealt it.'”

      Judge: “Sustained.”

  9. Nice until they break out your window or shoot you through it claiming you made a “furtive” gesture. Your video will disappear to.

  10. “He was allowed to proceed because he clearly was not driving while intoxicated,” said Veda Coleman-Wright, spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “If those officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver was impaired, they would have investigated further.”

    I agree with the cops here.

    “We smelled liquor.”

    Prove the officer didn’t smell liquor.

    1. “It was impossible your honor. I broke his nose before he could’ve smelled anything.”

      1. Hmm.

        “Impossible! The officer was dead before he hit the ground!”

  11. “This one trick”

    Ahaha, Scotty. Well played.

  12. smells like Sovereign Citizen bullshit to me.

    1. You didn’t RTFA, did you?

    2. Smells like dumbass in here.

      Sovereign citizens won’t acknowledge the authority of the police or courts. This guy just wants to avoid unconstitutional searches.

    3. DEEERRRRRRRPPPPPPP!!!1!!!1!!!!!

  13. This is what everyone should do, not just people who have been drinking. That’s how you make some progress on this.

    It’s like people consenting to have their car searched. Too many people let them search because they know they have nothing to hide. Everyone needs to say “fuck, no, you can’t search me” every time.

    1. “Too many people let them search because they know they have nothing to hide.”

      I make a big stink (respectfully, of course) about it at those agricultural checkpoints here in Cali. The one from SD to LA I relent on a little quicker when its going only because of that “100 mile buffer” BS, but I like to get a few words in.

      The Arizona/Cali one I take my time because I know I’m right. I try my best not to crack up when they use the phrase “invasive fruits” (good band name!). My wife hates it, but she affords me the opportunity because I successfully challenge parking tickets from time to time (I’m 3 for 4 this year!).

  14. How about we take some action to end these illegal checkpoints in the first place?

    However, I’ve lived and worked in Georgia all my life, and in over 20 years of driving I’ve never even seen a checkpoint in Georgia. I’m not sure they exist here anymore. Or either I’m just exceptionally lucky never to have come across one.

    1. They most likely only put the checkpoints on country back roads and in poorer areas.

  15. What, no “FURTIVE MOVEMENT!” *BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM…* “Good shoot”?

    Clearly these officers need more training.

    1. More likely: “When I reached into the bag to inspect his license, the suspect took off at a high rate of speed. My hand was trapped and I was about to be dragged to my death. In order to save myself I had to discharge my weapon at the driver of the deadly weapon.”

      Or: “I saw the driver drive toward another officer at the checkpoint. I had to shoot him to protect the other officer’s safety.”

      Why go to the furtive movement well when you have the dangerous car angle?

      1. Because cameras Jimbo.

        This cop was sharp enough to recognise that he was up against an activist and that he was being filmed and made the smart decision to seek lower hanging fruit.

  16. This would work until the first cop said, “I smelled the odor of burnt marijuana when the car pulled up. Prove I didn’t.”

    And if the judge is like 99% of the judges I had to appear in front of, the judge would say, “Okay. That’s enough for probable cause.”

  17. *IF* you do this, make damned sure you video with one of those applications that automatically streams to the internet, and don’t give up your password under any circumstances.

    Because I guarantee you, one of these groups of cops is going to decide to tune you up or even shoot you. There are cops out there that HATE liberty and want to see it destroyed.

    The recent case in Denver where the cop seized the phone and erased the file – only to not understand it was also on the internet (it was recovered), should be a lesson to everyone. CYA, every single time.

  18. In California the police will tell you to remove your license form the plastic thus circumventing this neat trick.

  19. I’m an attorney and I represent defendants in DUI cases in the DC area. I can tell you why they didn’t drag him out of the car and taser him. It’s because his car had very obviously placed cameras.

  20. “If those officers had reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver was impaired, they would have investigated further.”

    According to this one cop who pulled me over in Jacksonville, driving on Friday after dark constitutes “reasonable suspicion”.

    Of course that may merely have been a “reasonable mistake of law”.

  21. I can’t imagine many cops accepting a license and registration in a zip-lock bag or clear case. “Procedures” require that you hand them only the items requested, not something that might contain money that they could later be accused of stealing. It’s why they ask you to take your license out of your wallet before they will accept it.

    Plus, being able to read is not a universal requirement for being a police officer, so any “note” saying you refuse to answer questions would likely be ignored.

  22. Don’t know why Reason doesn’t mention Redlich’s great book on DUI

    Fair DUI: Stay safe and sane in a world gone MADD

  23. I’m actually surprised they don’t have alcohol smelling dogs.

  24. This issue isn’t about strictly DUI “checkpoints”, but all checkpoints. It is disgraceful that courts have ever allowed these things to exist in the first place.

    More often than not, behind every “checkpoint” you’re going to find grant dollars, usually from the US DOT. Dry up the grant money and you’ll dry up the “checkpoints”.

    If you’re a cop and partake in these “checkpoints”, get the Hell out of my country. No real American would ever behave like this.

  25. Under NO MOTHER FUCKING CIRCUMSTANCE would that trick work for Black MALE.
    Never Ever Ever Ever Ever.

    This is what the Police will do to a BLACK PERSON:

    1. Block passage.
    2. Break window.
    3. Drag person thru the window.
    4. Beat the SHIT out of them.
    5. Put them in Jail.
    6. Drop the Charges when AL Sharpton shows up.
    7. Go on paid vacation when the Person files a criminal complaint.
    8. A committee of cops (internal affairs) will take months looking in to it.
    9. That committee will find no laws were broken.
    10. The DA will act as the police’s defense lawyer in Grand Jury or Trial.
    11. The Cops will NOT be held accountable.
    12. The Person will file a Lawsuit and win some Money.

    1. nice try at the built in victim-hood. Lots of cops in the Atlanta area are black so whites have just as much chance at getting “discriminated” against as a black guy.

  26. in a related situation,
    I have on two separate occasions been stopped by police for completely bogus reasons and ticketed for nuisance revenue reasons – (sandy springs is on a major spending/building binge). My defense was simple – I asked for and got it bound over to Fulton Superior Court for a jury trial. Both times the fine was less than $300 dollars and both times the case was never called. The District Attorney’s office isn’t going to drag 9 citizens down for jury duty for two days plus a cop for a measly 300 dollar fine that in a court trial they might lose.
    So moral of the story is
    1. go to court
    2. ask for a jury trial
    3. the case will never get called
    4. if everyone did this every time they got a bullshit ticket, the state
    doesn’t have the resources to try everyone so they would be forced to
    be alot more selective on what infractions they would choose to enforce.

    it was so much fun watching the flunky Traffic Court ADA squirm when I demanded a jury trial. He has the “shut up and pay mentality” and not used to people playing legal chicken with him.

    1. This is what the guys in Keene, Ma are doing. They refuse to plead out and take a couple days jail time instead of paying a fine. It looks like they are starting to back up the system.

      1. I think that New Hampsha’.

      2. Yeah, NH. Gotta love those wacky Keene anarchists.

  27. So to avoid being searched for DUI you have to act like you’re on drugs? I frankly hope the cops shoot anyone who does this

    1. And I hope you don’t actually think this way.

  28. Google is paying 98$ per hour! Just work For Few hours & Spend more time with friends and family. On Sunday i Bought Themselvers a Alfa Romeo from having made $18543 this month.

    Useful Site === == == http://WWW.WORK4HOUR.COM

  29. This is cute and all, but it doesn’t address the real problem, which is the unconstitutionality of checkpoints. Stopping at the checkpoint and providing documentation–even Saran-Wrapped–is still complying with an illegal policy. Dude should be using his fancy big-city lawyerin’ to bring a challenge to checkpoints in the courts, not setting millenials up to get gaffled.

    Plus, as others have said, this won’t work in most places. If you roll up to a checkpoint with a bag of ID hangin’ out your window, you’re either getting waved through because they just don’t feel like dealing with a troublemaking weirdo, or you’re getting pulled out of the car and given an object lesson in respectin’ authoritah. Where I live in the People’s Republic of Maryland the city cops have to post a public notice (generally in The Capitol) of where they’ll be running DUI checkpoints, and they have to provide for at least one “escape route” to avoid them. I’m guessing that means entering a checkpoint thus constitutes consent to a search.

    Again, this shit should be challenged in courts, not just complied with in an uppity fashion.

    1. Yeah. What we really need is lots of sober drivers refusing to cooperate at all. Of course, that comes right back to the problem of people with lives not wanting the hassle and disruption of an arrest. But until responsible, law abiding people start challenging it a lot more, little will change.

    2. The courts staffed either with lifetime appointed Team Red (mindless authoritah) or Team Blue (midless authoritah + sucking off the public safety unions) politicians, then?

      Or the state courts with some shitty chump-ass politician from either team who envisions the next election and oppo ads about how he wants drunk drivers slaughtering your children.

      The system does not work on a macro level in any way other than to perpetuate itself. The only way to combat it is on the micro level, as these people are doing.

  30. So many legal ways I can think of an officer could use to have the person roll down the window.

  31. First driving a motor vehicle upon the highway is considered a “privilege” in all 50 states. It is not a “right.” Second-the law enforcement legal standard for an investigation is “reasonable suspicion,” a level lower than “probable cause” which is required for a search, seizure, or arrest. Third, experienced law enforcement officers know when someone appears intoxicated because they utilize their senses. What the officer sees or smells, etc., is what will determine a closer look-or not. Once reasonable suspicion is found, further investigation can quickly determine if a driver is likely intoxicated or not. Last-law enforcement officers try to improve public safety by getting intoxicated drivers off of the highway rather than make up false criteria for an arrest.

    1. Libertarians take all the good, orderly stuff happening in society for granted, bitch endlessly about the occasional abuses, then prescribe tearing the whole thing down.

      1. And you proggies think the “good, orderly stuff” can only come from government force, and you don’t care how much abuse occurs as a result.

      2. Fuck you Tony, you treasonous piece of shit. Why haven’t you kill yourself yet?

    2. Fuck off Slavers.

    3. Once you obtain a license, it’s a right, not a privilege. This is what happened behind the scenes at this Levy County DUI Checkpoint. Only 2 black people were arrested, after “admitting” (we know how that goes with police coercion and lying) to “ingesting” Marijuana *earlier.* In no way were they physically a safety hazard beyond that of every other driver on the road this night. http://youtu.be/bjkGO8fpV6o

  32. “”probable cause” which is required for a search, seizure, or arrest. ”

    probable cause isn’t required for a seizure. And for that matter neither is “reasonable susicion.

    All that is required is for you to have something that the Law Officer wants bad enough to lie for.

  33. My last pay check was $ 9500 working 10 hours a week online. My Friend’s has been averaging 14k for months now and she works about 21 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out
    ??????? http://www.jobsaudit.com

  34. This is what happened behind the scenes at this Levy County DUI Checkpoint. Only 2 black people were arrested, after “admitting” (we know how that goes with police) to “ingesting” Marijuana earlier. In no way were they a safety hazard beyond that of every other driver on the road. http://youtu.be/bjkGO8fpV6o

  35. If everyone did that, it would make a statement about illegal searches, but one person doing it, is pleading guilty.

  36. my classmate’s mom makes $82 /hr on the laptop . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her paycheck was $16174 just working on the laptop for a few hours. you can check here……………
    ????? http://www.navjob.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.