Man cited for warning drivers of checkpoint

A suburban Cleveland man says police violated his First Amendment rights of free speech when they cited him for holding a sign warning motorists to turn if they wanted to avoid a police DUI checkpoint.
Associated Press
Jun 20, 2014


Douglas Odolecki, 43, held a sign Friday night in Parma that said: “Check point ahead! Turn now!”

He and his attorney are fighting the citation. Odolecki said police sometimes abuse their authority and he believes he’s fighting for a just cause.

A Parma police spokesman said city attorneys previously determined the part of the sign telling motorists to turn is illegal.

It’s not the first time Odolecki used the sign or got into trouble for it. Parma police arrested him in September 2012 for having a knife in his pocket while holding that sign.



Dwight K.

People need to stop hiding behind the Amendments. Don't get me wrong I respect the amendments ..but come on. Its always the same thing if it's not a race thing it's an amendment thing


Congratulations! You have just won the internetz today for the worlds dumbest comment!
The amendments are for hiding behind against abusive government. Only a complete freakin moron would argue against people sticking up for their constitutional amendments.

Dwight K.

Thank you

From the Grave

I guess it's your right to call people names?

Dwight K.

Freedom of speech..right? :)


Yes it is covered under the freedom of speech. That would be your first amendment.

Dwight K.



The Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves about your incredibly ignorant comment. I wonder how many Americans have died, protecting those silly old amendments, that you think people just need to 'get over'.

red white and blue

Well according to deertracker there life's are all for nothing.But seriously how many more duma $$ are going to agree with our gov.continually taking away our rights

getit right be4...

What a tool!!!


Parma police arrested him in September 2012 for having a knife in his pocket while holding that sign.
So are you allowed to carry a knife or not?
Seems there are certain situations in which you are not allowed to carry a knife including "sign carrying" or while breathing?


Isn't that freedom of speech? And even if it isn't they usually announce where the checkpoints will be anyway.


exactly, when I see checkpoints I turn off not because Im drinking its because I don't need no cop invading my privacy and violating my 4th amendment rights.

Steve P

Clearly this man holding a sign being charged for his sign is violation of freedom of speech, you turning off before the check point is not a 4th amendment issue, the Supreme Court has held a sobriety check point is not an invasion of privacy or illegal search under a predetermined set of guidelines.


...And, those guidelines require that the time and locations must be publicly announced. Printed story in the newspaper is the common method of announcement.
Now, if I read of the story, I can tell a neighbor or co-worker about the story and about the event, but...
If I stand on the corner and warn these same neighbors and co-workers, is that a crime?

Dwight K.

My problem with the sign is what if someone who's been drinking see's the sign and turns off and gets in a wreck

From the Grave

What if somebody uses a sign like that to direct a car onto a dead end street where his friends are waiting to rob and or rape and or car jack drivers?

From the Grave

That's why the sign should ONLY say checkpoint ahead.

Steve P

If they are drunk they probably would ignore the sign, the check point locations are announced prior to the day of check points on multi media sources and drunks still are caught at them.


I think it's funny. If I had nothing better to do I would do this. And yes the amendments are there to protect us. The way this government is these days we all need to embrace our rights as citizens. These cops do what they want anymore and it's getting old.

yea right

they ask me if I'v been drinking..of course I say yes..water, milk, tea and pop

Ralph J.

Why is alright if the OSHP or local police warn drivers that a sobriety checkpoint will be conducted on a certain night on a certain road or street and publish the warning in a newspaper that reaches thousands but is a crime if some person on only one road warns maybe a few dozen people?


It could be because WHEN the driver reads his sign, if they are intoxicated, he is helping them evade arrest for their crime. Freedom of speech isn't going to cut it when it becomes aiding and abetting.

Ralph J.

It could be because when the driver reads the newspaper, if they are intoxicated, the newspaper warning is helping them evade arrest for their crime. What is the difference? Dozens of intoxicated drivers avoid the sobriety checkpoints because they were given advanced warnings and bypass the checkpoints via the newspaper or warned by fellow drinkers. News travels fast.


It is not illegal. Nor is flashing your lights to tell other motorists that they are coming up on an officer.

JudgeMeNot's picture

You are so wrong.

Flashing your lights to tell other motorists that they are coming up on an officer is illegal.

Read: ORC 4513.17(C)(1)

getit right be4...

ORC 4513.17 (C)

(1) Flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles, except as a means for indicating a right or a left turn, or in the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, or overtaking or passing. This prohibition does not apply to emergency vehicles, road service vehicles servicing or towing a disabled vehicle, rural mail delivery vehicles, vehicles as provided in section 4513.182 of the Revised Code, highway maintenance vehicles, funeral hearses, funeral escort vehicles, and similar equipment operated by the department or local authorities, which shall be equipped with and display, when used on a street or highway for the special purpose necessitating such lights, a flashing, oscillating, or rotating amber light, but shall not display a flashing, oscillating, or rotating light of any other color, nor to vehicles or machinery permitted by section 4513.11 of the Revised Code to have a flashing red light.

This has nothing to do with flashing for the police ahead.

JudgeMeNot's picture

Reread -- (1) Flashing lights are prohibited on motor vehicles

Using your bright/dim headlights as flashing lights is prohibited unless you are requiring unusual care in approaching, or overtaking or passing. Anything else is illegal.


Is it illegal to warn motorists about L.E. sitting b y flashing headlights? (speeding)

JudgeMeNot's picture

Yes. ORC 4513.17(C)(1)


Even by turning before you get to the checkpoint there are usually other officers set up in a perimeter around the area, looking for those trying avoid the area. You still get caught.

From the Grave

I'm ALL FOR people not driving drunk. I'll never drive after drinking again, and should have never done in the first place. I'm not sure how I feel about random checkpoints, though, unless they are really late at night. NO reason to stop people on their way to work at a 11pm.


My god, the number people willing to trade away even the most basic liberties in bits and pieces (or even big chunks) is appalling. No WONDER the government gets away with so many encroachments (and continues seeking new ones almost daily). It's getting away with it because the cowards, the children, and the compromisers LET it!

If you want to be completely safe, barricade your doors, turn off the power, roll yourself up in bubble wrap, and cower in the dark. Americans used to have the courage to be free!

From the Grave

Bubble wrap would have helped BOTH times that I've been hit by drunk drivers...


Klingon proverb: I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees. American correlation: I'd rather the risks of freedom than the security of slavery, even if that slavery is "only" to the state.


Actually if people wanted to be "Perfectly safe" they would go to prison. Bars on the windows, Armed guards 24/7, no responsibility not a chance of being at fault. Safe as safe can be.


You're right. It's interesting to note that a prison is also the perfect example of the progressive utopia where everyone is fed, clothed, and sheltered at the expense of the state; everyone has a job and free healthcare; and only the government authorities have guns. Paradise, indeed, eh?


Yes Sam. Drunk driving is wrong. Yet check points? Wait till the past drone activity comes to life. Not to mention border patrol. Excessive stuff like this IS wrong.

the unsilent majority's picture
the unsilent ma...

Didnt they have the discussion about warning drivers about speed traps in florida. Turned out the state was wrong in ticketing people.