Thursday, February 19, 2015

Florida lawyer checkpoint advice

Everybody is asking me whether the Florida lawyer on You Tube has found a way for people to go through checkpoints without lowering a window.
If the lawyer was in Tennessee, he would be doing a great disservice to the public.
Sobriety Checkpoints in Tennessee have been found to be constitutional. The driver is stopped and temporarily detained. In Tennessee drivers are not usually asked for a license, registration or proof of insurance in a sobriety checkpoint. They are checked for sobriety.
An officer will order the driver to lower the window, so he can smell alcohol or marijuana, better see the driver's eyes and determine if the driver needs to be checked out for suspicion of DUI.
If the driver refuses, the officer will begin writing a ticket for a violation of:

T. C. A. § 55-8-104
§ 55-8-104. Compliance with lawful orders or directions of police officers
(a) No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.
(b) A violation of this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

As with all tickets, if the driver refuses to sign the ticket, the driver has to be arrested and brought before a judge or magistrate for a bond. This can take a while!

This means the person who refuses to lower the window could end up spending hours instead of seconds at a sobriety checkpoint. Of course, if the person cooperates, the officer can turn the ticket into a warning and let the person go on his/her way.
The point of all this is, the officers are only there to try to deter impaired driving to keep us all safe. The 30 seconds in takes to pass through a checkpoint is a small sacrifice as compared to a lost life, if they don't catch the impaired drivers.
What do you care about? Support the life saving efforts of your local police. The life they save may be your own.

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