By now, there is a good chance that you’ve seen or at least heard about Libertarian Chris Kalbaugh’s DUI video showing a police checkpoint that occurred on the Fourth of July. If you haven’t yet seen the video, you can watch it in its entirety above. But while it’s one thing to hear what Kalbaugh has to say about the legality of a DUI checkpoint and vehicular search, it’s another to hear a qualified DUI lawyer in Vista evaluate the actions of the police officers involved.
The first thing that happens in the video is that the officer asks Kalbaugh to roll his window all the way down. While Kalbaugh claims he does not need to do so, for safety reasons, police do actually have this right.
The officer then asks Kalbaugh how old he is, which, while the video claims that’s against the law, the officer has the right to do so at a sobriety traffic stop because different laws apply to those under the age of 21. While a San Diego DUI lawyer will generally advise you to invoke the Fifth Amendment regarding questions that involve where you are coming from or going because these types of questions can be used to gather evidence against you, you should answer all questions related to your identity.
After the officer asks the driver to pull over, Kalbaugh asks if he is being detained. The officer avoids answering the question. As the writing on the video points out, police need a valid reason to detain someone, and if a person is not being detained he or she has the right to leave the scene.
As for attempting to open the car door, Kalbaugh is wrong about this one. If the officer is going to have you exit the car, he has the right to open the door. If necessary, police can reach in to take the keys out of a car’s ignition or to restrain a driver who is attempting to assault the officer or civilians.
Kalbaugh is again wrong when he claims that the officer cannot ask him to see his driver’s license. Because these documents are technically property of the state, police can request a driver show them at any point. A Vista DUI attorney will always urge you to show your license to police officers when asked to during a traffic stop.
Once again, the text on the video is incorrect about the police having no right to search your vehicle without your consent. While they must have a probable cause, they do not need a warrant or consent -this is why the officers get the drug-sniffing dog to see if there are any drugs in the vehicle.
Kalbaugh claims that the drug dog only targeted his car at the command of his master, but according to a dash cam of the incident, police did later discover two marijuana seeds and a little residue in his car although this was edited from the video. Whether or not the officer caused the dog to scratch on the window wouldn’t matter when these drug substances were uncovered.
Eventually, Kalbaugh was released without being arrested, but if charges were brought up, this video would provide plenty of evidence for any Vista DUI attorney to fight the charges. That being said, it is important to remember to take the legal advice of those not in the legal profession with a grain of salt. Many of the “facts” Kalbaugh presents are actually untrue and believing legal fallacies could end up getting you in a lot of trouble if you are ever arrested.
Vista DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss is knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to DUI checkpoints and drunk driving traffic stops. If you have any questions about your rights in these situations, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.