Friday, January 9, 2015

The full spectrum.

The ABA Law Journal has a story about Warren Redlich, a Florida attorney who has some interesting suggestions for how to behave at a drunken-driving checkpoint. Mr. Redlich is the founder of Fair DUI.

Mr. Redlich advises motorists facing these checkpoints to hang a plastic baggie to the exterior of their car. The baggie should contain the driver's licence, registration, proof of insurance, and a flyer that says "I remain silent," "no searches," and "I want my lawyer."  According to Mr. Redlich the purpose of the flier is to protect drivers from bad cops.  You can see a video of Mr. Redlich following his own advice here.

So that is one way to handle the possibility of being stopped on suspicion of drunk driving.  A counter example comes from Freeborn County, Minnesota.  Fox 9 News has the story of a woman who had a blood alcohol content of .45%.  The story notes that this is more than 5 times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota and was the highest.  recorded in the state during the month of December.  The story also notes that the woman was found passed out in the driveway of a home owned by a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol.

The fact that the woman was passed out in a state trooper's driveway intrigued the Fox 9 news team to do this follow up report. The report revealed that the did not know the state trooper and had apparently followed the trooper's boyfriend home from a bar. The boyfriend did not know the woman but did call the police to say she was passed out in her car in the trooper's driveway.  When police arrived at the scene, the woman's car was running. Perhaps because she was unaware of Mr. Redlich's advice, the woman allegedly told the police that her home address was "28780 I'm drunk."

Unfortunately for the woman, Clark's Grove, Minnesota-the town where the woman lives-does not have a street called "I'm Drunk."  A quick google search of the woman's name reveals that she did get the numeric portion of her address right.  However, being half-right about her address was not enough to prevent the woman from being charged with driving while intoxicated.

I don't know that there are any lessons to be drawn from these two stories besides the one should not drink and drive. I did find it amusing that there at the southern tip of the country there is a story about how to avoid being charged with drunk driving while at the the northern tip of the country there is a story about how to not avoid being charged with drunk driving.

You've spent time in both states Mr. Torvik, do these tales tell us anything about the advantages or disadvantages of living in Minnesota or Florida?

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