Should Police Have Ticketed This Man for Warning Drivers About a DUI Checkpoint?
Police in Parma, Ohio, ticketed Doug Odolecki on Friday, June 13, because Odolecki was holding up a sign to warn drivers of an upcoming DUI checkpoint. The sign read, “CHECKPOINT AHEAD! TURN NOW!”
Odolecki is part of a group called Greater Cleveland Copblock, which according to Odolecki holds police accountable for their actions. Odolecki does not think that police should be setting up DUI checkpoints, though he’s careful to point out that he isn’t actually pro-drunk-driving.
“It’s a Nazi-esque-style checkpoint,” he told Fox 8 in Cleveland. “It is a ‘papers, please’-type checkpoint. These guys are not out there for your safety or anything like that, so if you think that, think again.”
The locations of DUI checkpoints are available to the public beforehand, but apparently the police took exception to the “TURN NOW” part of Odolecki’s sign, not the sign itself.
Odolecki filmed his encounter with police and posted it in full to YouTube. As you can see, police explained to Odolecki that “our sobriety checkpoint is all about educating the public, and we need them to come through the checkpoint to educate them.”
The Ohio man maintains that it is his right to warn drivers about the checkpoint. The police insist that the “TURN NOW’ part of the sign is an obstruction of official business, which is what they cited him for. Odolecki plans to fight the ticket in court.