Articles Posted in DUI Checkpoint

Within the last year in California, reports reveal that there were 882 fatalities due to drunk driving. As a result of this high number of fatalities, California strongly enforces its regulations regarding drunk driving. These consequences can follow an individual convicted of DUI around for a long time. If an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop, there are certain pieces of advice that one needs to follow. It is recommended that the following pieces of advice be followed if an individual is subject to a driving under the influence stop:

  • Argue You Were Not Under the Influence. Your attorney might very likely be able to show that evidence demonstrates that you were not intoxicated at the time that you were stopped by law enforcement.
  • Blood Alcohol Content Defense. Because your body continues to metabolize alcohol after you drink, your blood alcohol content is not necessarily at its highest point after you’ve just finished your last drink. As a result, it may be possible to argue to law enforcement that your blood alcohol content was lower while you were driving rather than while you were operating the vehicle.

Although they may not be the best tool for the identification of drunk drivers, DUI checkpoints are still commonly used in the San Diego area (and throughout the state of California). The efficiency and accuracy of these checkpoints are debatable. DUI checkpoints were modeled after roadside safety checks as well as license and registration inspection checkpoints. At a DUI checkpoint, police will check a driver’s sobriety. If the driver exhibits any signs of impairment, the driver will be asked to exit the vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests. In Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the U.S. Supreme Court held that DUI checkpoints were constitutional and that they did not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure. Therefore, it is not likely that DUI checkpoints will go away anytime soon.

In recent years, sobriety checkpoints have been increasingly utilized in the San Diego area. Proceeds from fines and California state grant dollars have only served to encourage the use of these checkpoints. DUI checkpoints are most often set up on the weekends throughout the county.

Just last week, six motorists were arrested for driving under the influence at a DUI checkpoint in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. Six vehicles also were impounded during the checkpoint that occurred at the 1400 block of G Street on Saturday night. San Diego police officer Mark McCullough said that 2,597 vehicles passed through the checkpoint that night, and 1,050 of those were screened by police.

According to MADD (Mother’s Against Drunk Driving), in 2014, drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol killed around 10,500 people; 345,000 were injured. The statistics for the number of accidents occurring in San Diego County due to drunken driving are staggering and most of these accidents occur on or around holidays. The most common holidays where accidents are most likely to occur due to irresponsible post-party practices are the Fourth of July, New Year’s and St. Patrick’s Day.

         Focusing on New Year’s, the San Diego County authorities did what they could to ensure the safety of the roads to prevent New Year’s DUI cases for 2015, but to no avail. Statewide in the State of California, DUI arrests were down from 2014; but this wasn’t the case for San Diego County specifically. Blocking out just a 12-hour window from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day 2013-2014, there were 324 DUI arrests in the state of California and 14 in San Diego County. The same time frame for 2014-2015 New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day netted 309 DUI arrests in the state of California and 20 in San Diego County. It may not seem like much of an increase, but percentage wise it’s a 42.9% jump for San Diego County. Last New Year’s there were no fatalities while this year there was one; statewide there were 5 fatalities this year.

         In an attempt to lower the statistics for those not only driving under the influence (DUI) but also driving without a valid license, authorities publicized their plans to increase DUI checkpoints starting right after Christmas (Dec. 26) through New Year’s. Studies in San Diego County have shown that well published reports stating the intention of having increased police presence can lower irresponsible acts of partygoers by up to 20 percent. San Diego County police ran several DUI checkpoints from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Christmas Weekend, inspired by the nearly 2,300 injuries that occurred last year around the same time. The checkpoints proved successful in finding and arresting drunken drivers but also increased the statistics from last year. A report released by CHP said 18 people were arrested and two died in San Diego County between 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and 8 a.m. the day after Christmas. That’s six more arrests than last year and the same number of fatalities. The New Year’s statistics also went up from last year as a result of increased DUI checkpoints throughout San Diego County; officers arrested 34 impaired drivers in San Diego County between New Year’s Eve and that Friday morning, compared to 20 DUI arrests in the same holiday period a year ago. During the same weekend, continuing from Friday to Sunday (New Year’s weekend) the statistic increased dramatically, doubling the total number of drunken drivers taken off of the streets. Officers arrested 69 drivers driving under the influence (DUI) in San Diego County between New Year’s Eve and that Sunday on the weekend following New Year’s.

A three car pileup occurred last night around the 1100 block of East Washington Avenue in Escondido. According to police, a black truck driving around 9p.m. crashed into a silver sedan; makes and models of the vehicles aren’t released. When the truck rammed into the silver sedan, the impact propelled the sedan to roll over and smash into another sedan, white in color. The truck driver, the driver at fault, attempted to escape and make it a hit-n-run case, but he was immediately taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). Luckily, none of the individuals involved were harmed by the accident/rolling vehicles, but particles on the street were a hazard to other drivers on the road. The impact caused dangerous debris to slide across the road to the extent that police had to close the road to traffic while the scene was investigated and the shards and scrap metals were removed from the road.

Sources:
“Suspected DUI Driver Causes 3-Car Crash” – NBC San Diego

San Diego State University’s police set up a DUI checkpoint/trap on Halloween night to educate the public, increase awareness of danger and encourage designated drivers who haven’t had anything to drink. The checkpoint was on College Avenue and ran throughout the night of the 31st. In total, about 1,700 vehicles drove through the checkpoint; 830 were screened and 26 sent for thorough inspection. Eight vehicles were impounded along with six drivers arrested for DUI and three other drivers arrested for license violations. In order to make the checkpoint possible, University police had to work as a team with the San Diego police department to keep everything going smoothly.

Sources:
“Drivers Arrested At SDSU DUI Checkpoint” – The Daily Aztec

Police are setting up multiple checkpoints this Halloween weekend with the intention of educating the public and increase awareness on the impact driving under the influence contains. The checkpoints are also put in place to show the dangers of drunk driving, riding with someone who is drunk and encouraging designated drivers. The weekend is especially popular around Halloween because of Muir College’s pumpkin drop. The school has been participating in this event for over 40 years. The pumpkin, averaging around 400lbs, is full of candy and students run around and pick up all of the pieces when it hits the ground. Each year, how far the pumpkin’s splat goes is recorded; the record is 100ft. During these celebrations, it is not uncommon for hundreds of students to show up and participate.

Sources:

‘;’.DUI Checks, Halloween Pumpkin Drop”

Labor Day weekend can be one of the most fruitful holiday weekends for cops picking drivers under the influence off of the streets and highways, one by one. Compared to DUI arrests last year over Labor Day weekend, the amount has increased almost exactly 30% – a very significant jump from 57 to 72. Fatalities, however, have decreased! In fact, there were absolutely no deaths associated with Labor Day weekend this year, which is shocking with the large increase in number of DUI arrests. Last year, in 2013, there were two deaths during this time period. The overall number of arrests and deaths in the state of California also decreased, with 1,043 arrests this year, 1,092 last year and 23 deaths, down from 24. The death count statistical breakdown for the state of California, is as follows: 21 individuals in vehicles were killed (12 not wearing seat belts), and 3 motorcyclists were killed (all 3 were wearing their helmets). Holidays in California, and the United States in general, tend to be when major clumps of DUI arrests are made. Remember to drive safely and hand over your keys to a designated driver if you decide to drink! However, if you do get pulled over and are under the influence, remember you are not obligated to answer any questions and to give us a call, first!

Sources:
“72 Arrested for DUIs Over Labor Day Weekend” – CBS 8 San Diego

Authorities will be out in full force this Friday and throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend in search of people driving under the influence after celebrating. City police have been preparing and gearing themselves up to take part in overnight checkpoints over the weekend, which are set to begin at around 6pm this evening. There will also be a second checkpoint but the location hasn’t been revealed to the public, and will start at 6pm on Saturday and end at 2 in the morning on Sunday. Other checkpoints will be set up around the 7900 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove and another will be set up in Imperial Beach, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. There will also be officers patrolling the Del Mar Fairgrounds this weekend. Sheriff Bill Gore recently expressed his zero tolerance for driving under the influence and that he will be enforcing the nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. San Diego police officer Mark McCollough stated that three people were killed and over a thousand were injured in drunken driving related crashes last year and they are aiming to lower the number significantly this year.

Sources:
“Labor Day DUI Enforcement Out In Full Force” – San Diego 6, The CW

Authorities set up a checkpoint somewhere in the 4200 block of Mission Bay Drive in the hopes of removing some drunk drivers from the streets – which they have successfully done on numerous occasions in the past – and continue to do frequently. The checkpoint began around 11pm on Friday night, operating for roughly four hours before coming to a close Saturday morning at about 3am. Although driving under the influence isn’t the only offense the police officers screen for during routine license checkpoints, it is usually the one seen most often and the one most vital to get off of the roadways. During the hours of the Mission Bay Drive checkpoint, officers on the scene were able to stop a total of almost 572 vehicles for further inspection; around 1,800 vehicles passed through the checkpoint in total. Out of the almost 600 vehicles screened, officers were able to make a total of nine arrests on drunk driving charges.

Sources:
“DUI Checkpoint in Mission Bay Nets Nine Arrests” – San Diego 6, the CW

Everyone had a great time watching the horse race last Thursday at the Del Mar racetrack, the 75th season of local thoroughbred racing; alcoholic drinks were a fan favorite. After the fun was over, authorities were ahead of the game and set up patrols and road traps, screening people as they went through. In total, there were 14 teams of officers on the job from Thursday at 5 p.m. to Friday at 2 a.m., and it proved to be a good use of resources when the arrests and violations started pouring in. In total, just under 200 vehicles were stopped between the designated patrol times and 13 drunk driving arrests were made – one guy even had some brass knuckles! Aside from those arrests, police cited a person for marijuana possession and ticketed for 50 other violations – four vehicles were impounded, too. Authorities made a statement saying they went into action to reduce drunk driving and had no other choice but to remove any and all persons suspected of it from the streets and roadways to keep drivers safe; and that’s exactly what they did.

Sources:
“13 Arrests for DUI Near Del Mar Racetrack” – KFMB 760am