Monday, April 11, 2011

Effective Use of Driver's Rights Card

GRL Law has created the original Iowa Driver's Rights Card which is a tool that allows drivers in the State of Iowa to effectively and efficiently invoke their legal rights.

The Iowa Driver's Rights Card is a written notice to the officer that the individual under investigation is invoking the following rights: 1) Right to remain silent; 2) Right to withhold consent to a search of ones person, property or affects; 3) Right to refuse field sobriety exercises; and 4) Right to phone calls and to consult with an attorney before the breath test at the station. It is simple and succinct and all that needs to be done to invoke these rights is to hand the card to the officer.

Not everyone understands or appreciates the true purpose of GRL Law's Iowa Driver's Rights Card. Some criticize it as encouraging drunk drivers while others look at it as some sort of magic "get out of jail free" card. It is neither. The single most important thing to comprehend with regards to the driver's rights card is that it cannot and does not save someone from themselves. If the individual under investigation is visibly intoxicated and does not have their faculties about them, the card is useless. If the person cannot walk to their car without staggering; starts berating the officer with slurred speech and talks in a non sensible manner; elects to do field sobriety exercises and looks visibly intoxicated; or if the officer gives the person the opportunity to place calls and the person elects not to, the card is useless.

Here are a few tips to ensure that if you are in the unfortunate position where you need to invoke your rights under Iowa law, you will know exactly what to do. First, read the card and understand the rights you are invoking BEFORE you need it. Second, DO NOT hand the card to an officer until it is clear that you are being investigated. Third, remember the rights that are being invoked so if the officer asks if you still want to do what is clearly requested on the card, you can reaffirm the invocation of your legal rights. Finally, say as little as possible. Prisons and jails are full of people that could not hold their tongue. The less you say the better.

Hopefully you are never in the position to use GRL's Iowa Driver's Rights card but if you are, these tips will help you effectively invoke your legal rights in Iowa. Remember though, the only absolute defense to drunk driving is not to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. For more information regarding your rights, log onto www.IOWAOWIDEFENDERS.com.

1 comment:

Dean Stowers and Nick Sarcone said...

Good stuff guys! Important to understand the card before trying to use it.