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Libertarian has day in court over driver's license requirements

LARGO — Adrian Wyllie, chairman of Libertarian Party of Florida, finally got his day in court Wednesday, challenging the law on driver's license renewals by challenging the validity of his traffic ticket.

He left a little dissatisfied, even though the judge told him he had done a good job.

Wyllie, 41, represented himself, so his attempt at mounting a defense occasionally ran afoul of Pinellas County Judge Henry "Hank" Andriga.

When the judge told the Palm Harbor resident something he was trying to present wasn't relevant, the astonished Wyllie asked, "Did you just enter an objection?"

No, said Andringa, who's been on the bench 25 years, "but I'm not going to waste time."

Wyllie is challenging the federal "Real ID" law, passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the 9/11 attacks. The law requires anyone renewing a driver's license or identification card to provide a host of documents, which can include birth certificates, Social Security cards and obscure papers such as old divorce files.

He contends those requirements — plus the fact that the information is scanned into a national database searchable by law enforcement — violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. He says it also violates the Florida Constitution.

In a confrontation he taped, Wyllie refused to provide the requested documents on May 17 when it was time to renew his license. Then he drove around all summer trying to get ticketed so he could challenge the law. He finally got his wish when Deputy Melvin Jackson spotted him on July 15 and charged him with driving with no valid license.

When Wyllie cross-examined Jackson on Wednesday, he tried asking the deputy various questions about the Real ID program, but the deputy said, "You are the very first time I ever heard of it."

After Wyllie finished rattling off a list of cases he said proved the law is unconstitutional, Andringa asked him for the list. He said Wyllie was clearly guilty, but he would read case law and rule on the constitutional question in a week.

After the 25-minute hearing, Wyllie walked out of the courthouse to the parking lot, ready to get in his car and break the law all over again.

Libertarian has day in court over driver's license requirements 10/05/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 9:26pm]
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