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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Lawyer Markets Kit to Help Drunk Drivers

Aired September 2, 2001 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: If you are a drunken driver, how do you protect yourself legally? After all, you're not thinking clearly when the police pull you over. Well, you can buy a kit off the Internet for $99.99 to help you.

It's marketed by a man who has been arrested twice for DUI, a lawyer, no less. Here's CNN's Keith Oppenheim in Chicago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are field sobriety tests. Tests that can help police determine if a driver is drunk. This is Don Ramsell, a suburban Chicago attorney who is marketing a kit called Ramsell's Roadside Rights. It's designed to instruct drivers on how to refuse field sobriety tests.

RECORDED VOICE: Officer, please understand that I will only exit the vehicle for your safety or if under arrest.

OPPENHEIM: The kit advises the police officer not only will drivers refuse all field testing, they won't answer questions without an attorney present.

DON RAMSELL, ATTORNEY: It's designed, and I think very effective, in preventing a social drinker driving impaired from being falsely accused.

OPPENHEIM: Ramsell is trying to get his kit marketed in other states, disturbing to some who believe sobriety test are crucial.

In fact, in Illinois, one coalition has been trying to pass a bill that would temporarily suspend the license of any driver who refused a field sobriety test. Without such tests, advocates say police officers don't have enough evidence to make drunk driving charges stick.

DET. JOHN LAWSON, ROSELLE, ILLINOIS POLICE: What does he do? Does he let the driver go, risking a crash down the street? Or does he arrest the driver and, knowing that, you know, the case is going to get thrown out in court?

OPPENHEIM: In the meantime, Ramsell's kit, or similar advice from attorneys, may be having an effect as statistics from state police show, the number of drivers refusing sobriety tests is steadily on the rise.

In Chicago, I'm Keith Oppenheimer reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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