Tips on Avoiding a PA DUI Arrest & Conviction


Hi, this is David McKenzie from The McKenzie Law Firm. There’s a video circulating the internet from New Year’s Eve 2014 out of Levy County, Florida, and it’s getting a lot of attention. The driver of the vehicle in the video approaches a DUI checkpoint, and he hangs a plastic bag out the closed driver’s side window. In that bag is all the identification that he presumably needs, his driver’s license, his registration, and his insurance. Also inside the bag is a flyer that reads I remain silent, no searches. I want my attorney. And this is a good example of someone attempting to limit those things that a police officer is trained to clue in on when investigating a DUI situation. The driver does not open his window because that would potentially allow for a police officer to smell the odor of alcohol or drugs. He uses the typed statements and presentation of the registration, insurance, and driver’s license as a way to limit his speaking with the officer, because speaking with the officer would again allow for the possibility of that officer smelling alcohol and/or drugs. Limiting what is said to the officer also limits that officer’s potential claim to say that he detected slurred speech from the driver. Ultimately in this video, the driver is left to go on his way. No harm, no foul. But that situation could have had drastically different consequences, and that is because the driver most certainly drew unwanted and unnecessary attention to himself and his situation, and that attention is never a good thing. Something that’s not pointed out in the video is that signs of impairment are still sought for and can be obtained even though the windows of a vehicle are up, and perhaps even most importantly, in Pennsylvania at least, a police officer does have the authority to order someone from the vehicle pursuant to a traffic stop. The point is this. When you’re stopped for a DUI at a DUI checkpoint, protect your rights to the fullest extent possible. Do not answer questions. Provide all the necessary information to the police officer while limiting your interaction. You have to do that, of course, though, while still being cooperative and courteous to the police. It’s a tall order, but one that will serve you best.