How far does the constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure go? Does it mean that you do not have to submit to testing at DUI checkpoints?
In the last year or so, viral pictures and videos have shown drivers participating in an anti-DUI checkpoint movement using what is called “Fair DUI Flyers.” These flyers are a piece of paper you hold up to your closed window at DUI checkpoints to inform police officers that you are asserting your state and federal rights against unlawful search and seizure by refusing to comply with the DUI checkpoint. The flyer expresses your intent to display your ID and your documents through the closed window, and communicates to police that if it is not sufficient for them to view the documents through the window, they are welcome to write a ticket which you will gladly sign digitally and email to whom it may concern.
Are Fair DUI Flyers Legal? Can You Get in Trouble for Using One?
According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, who served as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge and teaches constitutional law at Brooklyn Law School, fair DUI flyers are legal, but checkpoints are not. He cites his own rulings in the past regarding DUI checkpoints and the fact that his opinions were upheld by higher courts.
Napolitano believes that the flyers are a good way to prevent drivers from incriminating themselves by speaking to police, who use deceptive tactics to get drivers to admit to impairment, or to create probable cause for a search.
Even if these fair DUI flyers are legal, before attempting something like this, you should probably speak with a DUI attorney in your area.
If you are charged with DUI due to a DUI checkpoint in Denver, contact a local attorney to see if your stop was unconstitutional.