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Ohio man ticketed for warning drivers about sobriety checkpoint

Doug Odolecki's sign read: "Check point ahead! Turn now!"
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Updated June 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

PARMA, Ohio, June 17 (UPI) -- "Check point ahead! Turn now!"

That's the message that was written on a sign that Doug Odolecki was holding up while standing on an Ohio street corner on Friday night.

The final two words of that sign earned Odolecki a ticket and a court date because they were allegedly obstructing official police business.

Odolecki was warning drivers in Parma about the upcoming drunken-driving checkpoint for about an hour before Police Lt. Brian McCann asked him to remove the last two words from the sign.

When Odolecki refused, he was given a ticket by officer James Manzo. Odolecki told Cleveland.com that McCann and Manzo "tried to be a civil as they could knowing they were violating someone's rights."

Attorney John Gold is representing Odolecki pro bono, because he supports "the police accountability activist movement."

"The problem here is not the sign in general. It's the part of the sign that instructed drivers to turn that the officers had an issue with," Gold said. "But I think regardless it's protected speech under the First Amendment."

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