San Diego Teacher Arrested After Fleeing DUI Checkpoint

It was not a fun Friday night for local school teacher, Bret Helvig. According to news reports, the teacher tried to avoid a DUI checkpoint by jumping on the freeway. After leading San Diego police on a short pursuit, he was caught and arrested.

The thirty-eight-year-old, Helvig, drove onto Interstate 5 and then exited off Clairemont Drive hoping he could avoid a Sobriety Checkpoint on 4200 block of Mission Bay Drive in Bay Park. According to San Diego Police Officer Mark McCullough, officers used a spike strip to puncture his vehicle’s rear tire which stopped his escape.

Helvig was arrested for evading a police officer, suspicion of driving under the influence, and for driving on a suspended license, the officer said. Jail records indicated that the teacher was booked into San Diego jail about 4:30 a.m. Saturday and released almost 12 hours later at 4 p.m. that afternoon.

According to his school’s website, The Bishop’s School of La Jolla, Helvig is a member of their Foreign Language Faculty and he teaches French and Spanish there. Unfortunately, Helvig has a prior DUI conviction, which could explain why he was trying to dodge the DUI checkpoint.

Believe it or not, the teacher’s DUI arrest that night was one of fourteen made by 3 a.m. at or near the Mission Bay Drive near Interstate 5. In all, police said 29 motorists were detained for further sobriety evaluations. From there, a total of 14 DUI-related arrests were made and 15 vehicles were impounded. Checkpoint evaluations took place from 10:55 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. and during that time 1,295 cars passed through and 645 of those vehicles were contacted by officers.

The Bay Park checkpoint was made possible by a special “DUI Mini Grant” from UC Berkeley. As San Diego Law Enforcement receives these special grants, the number of DUI checkpoints will continue to increase around the county. The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or under the influence or any controlled substance can be very severe, especially if you have a prior DUI conviction. If you are arrested for a DUI, it is critical that you obtain a skilled DUI Attorney with years of experience ~ and a commitment to excellence. The best choice is always to not drink alcohol and drive!

Sources: “Driver Tries to Escape DUI Checkpoint” ~ NBC 7 San Diego,
November 17, 2012

“Cops: Teacher flees DUI checkpoint” ~ U-T San Diego,
November 17, 2012