23 Feb Loophole in Law Keeps Drunk Drivers on Our Streets
If you or a family member has even been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you probably understand why Florida DUI laws are so strict. Tough DUI laws not only encourage drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking,” quote=” Tough DUI laws not only encourage drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car after drinking, they allow officers to pull over drivers they have reason to believe are intoxicated. By doing so, they remove these dangerous drivers from the road, and make our streets and highways safer for other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
But a newly discovered loophole in the law is unleashing many drunk drivers back onto the road after they’ve been pulled over. It was local criminal defense attorney Warren Redlich that brought attention to this loophole, pointing out that a driver can avoid being charged with a DUI simply by refusing to roll down their window. By keeping the car window up, a driver makes it much harder for officers to smell alcohol, hear slurred speech, or detect other indications of intoxication.
As Redlich explained to reporters from NBC Miami, “normally what [police officers] look for is: Do you have impaired speech? Do you have impaired motor coordination? Does he smell of alcohol? If you don’t roll down your window and don’t speak, you’ve taken away some of those.”
According to Redlich, drivers should refrain from rolling down their windows entirely, and instead show a card that reads “I remain silent. No searches. I want my lawyer,” along with their license, registration, and insurance.
Today, YouTube videos of drivers following Redlich’s advice are going viral, with many clips depicting drivers refusing to roll down their windows and simply being waved through DUI checkpoints.
Why Is this Loophole So Dangerous?
Redlich and drivers who employ his tactic to skirt DUI checkpoints argue that they are asserting their rights. In actuality, they are making Florida roads much more dangerous for everyone around them. DUI checkpoints exist to keep intoxicated drivers off the road, and this loophole allows them to pass through the checkpoint and continue on driving along our roads, where they can easily cause auto accidents, injury, and destruction.
It is likely that the only individuals who would resort to such a loophole are drivers who are trying to hide alcohol on their breath, slurred speech, and delayed responses—the very people DUI laws are meant to keep off the road. People who have been drinking—even if they are not quite over the legal limit—are a big threat to their fellow drivers, pedestrians, and surroundings. The common negative effects of alcohol consumption on a driver include:
- Reduced coordination
- Limited capacity to track moving objects
- Slowed response to emergency situations
- Difficulty steering
- Difficulty controlling speed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Impaired perception
- Limited capacity for processing information
With this loophole, impaired or intoxicated drivers suffering from these and other alcoholic effects are allowed to continue driving on Florida roadways, where they are likely to cause problems, including accident and injury.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a drunk driver who was released back onto the road because of this legal loophole, contact a top DUI accident attorney. A skilled attorney will be able to help you obtain compensation for medical expenses, repair fees, and overall pain and suffering. What’s more, you’ll be able to raise awareness of the negative consequences of this unfortunate loophole in our vital Florida DUI laws.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The Injury Law Firm of South Florida, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.