Nothing warms my jaded, criminal defense attorney heart more than when law enforcement comes up with cute catch phrases. I’ve always loved it when Illinois State Troopers talk about the “Fatal 4”. I especially love “click it or ticket” because the Illinois law really only lived up to a “watered down” version of the phrase until the decidedly “big government” Bush administration tied changes in the law to eligibility for federal funding:
SENATE BILL 50: Primary Seat belt Legislation
The new law changes the Illinois Vehicle Code’s seat belt law from a “secondary” violation to a “primary” violation. Formerly, law enforcement officials could not stop a motor vehicle solely on the basis of a violation of the seat belt law. This law removes that exception, enabling law enforcement officials to stop vehicles solely on the basis of seat belt violations. The law provides that a law enforcement officer may not search or inspect a motor vehicle, its contents, the driver or a passenger solely because of a violation of this law. The law took effect immediately upon signing by the governor. Illinois is the first state this year to enact primary safety belt legislation and the 19th state across the country.
No discussion of cute-catch-phrases-tied-to-federal-funding would be complete without “Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over” though. As I explained back in December, that propaganda (and, more accurately, the funding behind it), is why you start seeing news of all the “checkpoints” that pop up everywhere around the holidays (I really should go back to see exactly how many St. Charles DUI arrests were made as a result of that weekend… and then check that number against the number of DUI arrests made on a “normal” weekend to see if the the money and resources spent were actually justified).
Nevertheless, I’m very saddened to read today that not everywhere lives by “drive sober or get pulled over.” In fact, in Wisconsin, it looks like they’ve bought into quite the opposite- drive sober and get pulled over:
Tanya Weyker was hurt so badly, she couldn’t blow into a breath-testing device or perform field sobriety tests. But a Sheriff’s deputy arrested her for drunk driving anyway. And the County hung those charges over her head for nearly a year, even long after blood tests proved she was perfectly sober.
Wait. She was just driving down the road and got a DUI? Nothing is that simple. Obviously, there’s a catch. That catch is that you’ve got to let the cop run into you, first (and lie about it, second):