NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — You have the right to remain silent, but is it a good idea to insist on asserting that right at a sobriety checkpoint?
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, videos of people breezing through sobriety checkpoints without rolling down their windows and instead displaying a version of a defiant Libertarian-inspired flier “I remain silent. No searches, I want my lawyer” have gone viral online.READ MORE: Bodycam Video Shows Moments Before NYPD Lieutenant Was Shot In Ankle Apprehending Suspect In The Bronx
“There are genuinely drunk drivers that need to be taken off the road, but unfortunately the way the system works, a lot of innocent people get caught up in it,” said attorney Warren Redlich, who is credited with the idea.
The idea is to roll up to a sobriety checkpoint, display the sign and your license and not say a word — essentially asserting your rights, Young reported.
But despite what you might see in those videos from other parts of the country, the police commissioner in New Rochelle told Young good luck trying that.
“I’d say ‘roll down your window and present your documents. I want to see your insurance card. I want to see your registration. I want to see your license. I want it physically in my hand.’ (Would the flier fly?) Not here.”
That’s not to say there isn’t a real issue. A political science professor at Iona College thinks we need more clarity on the limits of checkpoint searches.
“It’s a good question to raise. I would be very interested on how the courts would respond,” said Professor Jeanne Zaino.READ MORE: 5 Shot Outside Queens Laundromat, Police Investigating
A mother who became an activist against drunk driving after she lost her son to a drunk driver insists the checkpoints are crucial.
“Sobriety checkpoints are advertised, so people know where they are. They are not necessarily there to make arrests. They’re there to deter people from driving drunk,” said Collen Shehey-Church.
Shehey-Church, who is the New York Executive Director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, believes someone trying to use the flyers should be considered a drunk driving suspect.
In a nutshell, constitutional lawyers said the flyers are eye-catching, but probably not practical.
“I think it’s an attorney’s gimmick,” said constitutional lawyer James Maisano.
Perhaps, as suggested, it’s a way to get the courts to take another look at the issue, Young reported.MORE NEWS: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
The U.S. Supreme Court last upheld the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints in 1990 with a vote of 6 to 3.