The Law Offices of John Phebus

Magic flier?

It's almost like magic, its proponents claim. You simply drive up to a DUI checkpoint, holding a flier from FairDUI.org to your window, along with your driver's license, and police wave you through and on your way. That's the claim in videos and elsewhere online, according to a recent news story.

In fact, we watched a YouTube video in which a couple of men use the flier to pass through a checkpoint. A police officer reads the flier held against the rolled-up driver's window. The flier states, in part, "I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer." The cop reads it, smiles, gives a thumbs up and the driver is free to pass through the checkpoint without saying a word. The question is: would this work in Arizona?

The men in the YouTube video were in Ocala, Florida. The fliers are from an organization that believes DUI check points are unconstitutional. While there are good arguments to make on that matter, what really matters as you approach a check point is whether the flier will work.

One Arizona attorney interviewed for a news article said it's great that the tactic works in Florida, but that in Arizona the police would be pulling you out of your car if you held the flier to your rolled-up window. He notes that state laws differ and that in Arizona, you must speak with a police officer who has pulled you over.

A Phoenix police sergeant agrees. He said laws here state specifically "...that drivers will comply with officers when officers have reasonable suspicion to stop them."

He even left open the possibility that police would take drastic measures to make people comply.

"Whether or not we're going to start breaking in windows and dragging people out, there is a lot that will happen before that point," the sergeant said.

Whether you try the flier or not, an experienced DUI attorney can immediately get to work protecting your rights and helping to determine whether police conducted a legal search or arrest.

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