Articles Posted in Sobriety Checkpoints

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San Diego Sheriff’s Department announced a Memorial Day weekend DUI crackdown through their Avoid the 15 DUI Task Force. They will be conducing DUI and driver’s license checkpoints and drunk driving saturation patrols throughout the County of San Diego beginning Friday night and continuing throughout the weekend, especially in the evening hours.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) also published a press release stating they will also be out in full force this weekend in an attempt to reduce deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving. The Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) begins Friday, May 24th, at 6:00 p.m. and continues until Monday, May 27th, at 11:59 p.m. CHP officers will enforce seatbelt use, speed violations, and driving under the influence.

Other California law enforcement is expected to follow suit and either set up sobriety checkpoints or conduct saturation patrols specifically looking for drunk drivers. To get the most up-to-date checkpoint information, use Mr.Checkpoint.

The San Diego Sheriff’s press release included a warning that Memorial weekend is the official start of summer and partying. Along with the festivities, people often overly indulge in alcohol. To keep everyone safe, they recommend planning ahead before you head out to your parties. You can do this by designating a sober driver, arranging a ride home for yourself or your intoxicated friends, calling a cab or using one of the apps for texting a cab, or planning to stay at the place of the party. If you are hosting a party, limit the amount of drinks you serve, provide plenty of food, and have fun alcohol-free drinks for the designated drivers.

Last year’s Memorial weekend resulted in 25 deaths on California roadways and 1,300 DUI arrests. Don’t end up spending your holiday in jail, or worse, in the hospital or morgue. Plan ahead. However, if you do end up arrested for drunk driving, you owe it to yourself to hire a California DUI defense attorney to help get you through the process with the best possible outcome.

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The San Diego Sheriff’s website, (see press release dated December 5th), announced the following drunk driving roadblocks and saturation patrols during this holiday season:

  • December 14- Sobriety Checkpoint in Vista and Santee, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 15 – Warrant Sweep, South Bay
  • December 15- Sobriety Checkpoint in Lemon Grove and Encinitas, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 20 – DUI Saturation Patrol for the Poinsettia Bowl, 5:00 p.m. to midnight
  • December 21 – Sobriety Checkpoint in San Marcos, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 22 – Sobriety Checkpoint in Rancho San Diego (AVOID), 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 28 – Sobriety Checkpoint in Poway and Imperial Beach, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 29 – Sobriety Checkpoint in Chula Vista, 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
  • December 30 – DUI Saturation Patrol for Chargers/Raiders game, 5:00 p.m. to midnight
  • December 31 – DUI Saturation Patrol, Sheriff’s Department contract cities: San Marcos, Vista, Poway, Encinitas, Lemon Grove, Imperial Beach, and Santee.

Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. Other local law enforcement, including the California Highway Patrol (CHP), San Diego Police, and others, may conduct their own driving under the influence patrols over the coming weeks.

“Like” The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman on Facebook for more drunk driving information and notifications of other DUI patrols by law enforcement in San Diego County. And, get real time DUI checkpoint alerts text to your cell phone through Mr. Checkpoint.

These tools are not meant to help you drink and drive. Use them for informational purposes only. The best holidays start with safe, undistracted driving. If you think you will be drinking, plan ahead to avoid being a DUI statistic.

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halloween.jpgSan Diego Sheriff’s Department announced today 15 law enforcement agencies throughout the County of San Diego will conduct a drunk driving crackdown involving saturation patrols, (increased law enforcement specifically looking for impaired drivers), during Halloween week. They started yesterday and will continue through November 4th.

San Diego State University’s (SDSU) surrounding area will be targeted for DUI patrols on Saturday night.

The Sheriff’s recommend you plan ahead to avoid ending your party with a drunk driving charge. They encourage all partiers to designate a sober driver, call a taxi or a friend or family member, or use San Diego’s public transportation. You can also plan to spend the night at the house where the party is taking place.

If you happen to be pulled over by law enforcement, you do not want to help them build a case against you. Unless you are DUI probation, you are not required to do the field sobriety tests (FST’s) and you do not have to blow into the portable alcohol screening (PAS) test at the scene. You also should not answer the officer’s questions including what you had to drink, when did you last drink, etc. Everything you say to the officer is often included in the police report and used against you later in court.

You should understand law enforcement does not like it when a person does not cooperate with their investigation. So, you may end up being arrested and spending the night in jail if you do not comply with their requests.

If the officer has probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence, you are required to take either a blood or breath test. If you refuse to take the test, additional penalties are added.

If you get arrested and you are charged with drunk driving, you owe it to yourself to hire a accessible, aggressive, DUI defense attorney. Many criminal defense attorneys and even civil attorneys will often take drunk driving cases. These matters can be quite complex and it is best to hire someone who only deals with these type of matters to get the best results.

Do not just plead guilty, even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over a .08. There may still be defenses in your case that can lead to reduced charges or even a dismissal!

The above blog article is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may change and may not apply to your case. For the latest information or to get legal advice, speak to a DUI attorney in your area.

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San Diego law enforcement conducted another DUI checkpoint in the East Village area of downtown San Diego on Saturday from 10:35 p.m. until Sunday morning at 3:05 a.m., according to swrnn.com. Of the 2,519 drivers that went through the roadblock, 820 were contacted by the cops, 55 were pulled over to secondary for further evaluation, and 18 people were arrested for drunk driving.

Even though it’s after the height of the summer months and after the Labor Day holiday weekend, San Diego Police are continuing their efforts to stop people who are driving under the influence. You can expect with football season starting and the holiday season kicking off soon, sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols will continue around San Diego, especially on the weekend.

If you are arrested for a DUI, usually there is an administrative process through the DMV involving your driving privilege. In addition, there is a court or criminal process involving punishment for breaking the law.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, do not just ignore the DMV action or plead guilty. Even if your blood-alcohol content, BAC, was over a .08, there may be defenses in your case that can lead to your driving privilege being reinstated, reduced charges, or even a dismissal!! You owe it to yourself to hire a lawyer who exclusively deals with drunk driving matters to review the specific facts and evidence in your case and mitigate your penalties.

An added benefit of hiring legal counsel, if your matter is charged as a misdemeanor, in most cases, you will not have to appear at the DMV hearing or for any court proceedings. Your attorney can make all appearances on your behalf.

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labor day.jpgNumerous San Diego law enforcement agencies announced they will be out in full force over the Labor Day weekend conducting drunk driving roadblocks and saturation patrols, according to 10news.com.

Chula Vista Police will conduct a DUI checkpoint on Friday, August 31st, from 6:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. They will also have roadblocks on Saturday and Sunday, but the exact locations and times have not been announced.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) will set up a drunken driving checkpoint in Rancho San Diego from 7:00 p.m. Saturday through 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The precise location has not been announced. Also, CHP will be in a maximum enforcement period Friday at 6:00 p.m. through Monday at 11:59 p.m., actively looking for drunk drivers, speeders, and other violators.

Oceanside Police Department will conduct a roadblock looking for impaired drivers on Friday starting at 8:00 p.m. and ending at 3:00 a.m. The exact location of this checkpoint has not been released.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department will conduct a DUI checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Imperial Beach from 8:00 p.m. Saturday through 2:30 a.m. Sunday with additional saturation patrols on Saturday.

San Diego Police Department plans to conduct a DUI roadblock starting at 9:00 p.m. Friday and continuing into early Saturday morning. In addition, another checkpoint will be held on Monday starting at 4:00 p.m. The locations for these two have not been disclosed.

Encinitas, Santee, Poway, and Imperial Beach will add additional San Diego Sheriff patrols specifically looking for impaired drivers. They also plan on setting up sobriety checkpoints in Encinitas, Santee, and Poway on Friday night, Imperial Beach on Saturday evening, and Santee on Sunday. The times and locations for these DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols were not released.

As you can see, local law enforcement is actively looking for drunk drivers this Labor Day weekend. Do not be a statistic; plan ahead before you go out to celebrate your three day weekend. Pack a bag and plan on staying at the home of the party host. Designate a driver to remain sober and be responsible to drive you home. Save a San Diego taxi company’s telephone number in your phone and use it. Use public transportation or call a sober friend or family member for a ride.

However, If you are unfortunate and you do get arrested for driving under the influence, you owe it to yourself to hire an exclusively DUI defense firm.

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A suspected drunk driver allegedly drove his vehicle into two other cars in El Cajon on July 14th, at approximately 9:15 p.m. The accident happened near Melrose Lane and Royal Road in El Cajon. Apparently, one car was side swiped on the passenger side, as it was waiting to turn left into a driveway. The other car was behind the turning car, waiting to proceed. Four people were taken to the hospital. The driver was arrested for felony drunk driving, but his name has not been released.

checkpoints.jpgChula Vista law enforcement held a sobriety checkpoint at the 300 block of L Street on July 14th. Out of the 776 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint, 327 were screened, 11 drivers were asked to perform field sobriety tests, and 2 drivers were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, one driver was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs.

Chula Vista announced it will have another DUI checkpoint this Saturday, July 21st. The location of this one has not been announced.

Escondido Police Department conducted a DUI checkpoint at San Pasqual Valley Road and Oakhill Drive on Friday, July 13th. Officers also conducted a saturation patrol in Escondido until 3am, looking specifically for drunk drivers. (Note, Escondido Police did not publish the results of the saturation patrol.)

Of the 1287 drivers that passed through the sobriety checkpoint, 867 were screened, 60 were sent to secondary, 4 drivers were given field sobriety tests, and 2 people were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

The Chula Vista and Escondido DUI checkpoints were funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In order for the police to lawfully conduct these sobriety checkpoints or DUI roadblocks, they must comply with the guidelines that have been established through the courts. If your arrest was the result of a DUI checkpoint, contact an exclusively DUI defense firm that can review the law enforcement’s procedures and determine if the guidelines were followed. If they were not, the checkpoint could be ruled unlawful and the evidence against you may be inadmissible, often resulting in a dismissal!

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4th of july drink.jpgSan Diego DUI defense attorney, Susan Hartman, warns San Diego County drivers to be aware that local law enforcement will be out in full force this 4th of July week looking for drunk drivers. In fact, the San Diego Police Department and the California Highway Patrol already started to increase their DUI patrols this summer. They conducted a sobriety checkpoint in the 4200 block of Mission Bay Drive in Mission Bay Park by on June 22nd, between approximately 10:30pm and 3:30am. Ten drivers were arrested for driving under the influence and two people were cited for having an open container in a vehicle, according to scoopsandiego.com.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department also announced its plans to step up saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints throughout San Diego County, starting July 3rd, in an effort to curb drunk driving over the 4th of July holiday, according to 10news.com.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) announced a Maximum Enforcement Period, MEP, beginning 6:00pm on July 3rd, and continuing through midnight on July 4th. They are specifically targeting drunk driving, seat belts, and speed.

In Coronado, a drunk driving checkpoint will be conducted on Saturday, July 7th, from 6:00pm until 2:00am. The exact address has not been released.

Do not become a statistic…plan ahead. Plan on staying at the home of the party host. Designate a driver to remain sober and drive you home. Save a San Diego taxi company’s telephone number in your phone and use it. Use public transportation or call a sober friend or family member for a ride.

But, if you happen to get arrested for drunk driving, you owe it to yourself to hire an exclusively DUI defense attorney. Do not just plead guilty even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at or above the legal limit of .08%. There may still be defenses in your case that can lead to reduced charges with less punishment, or even a dismissal!

The above blog article is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws and facts may change and may not apply to your case. For the latest information or to get legal advice, speak to a DUI attorney in your area.

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DUI checkpoints may be banned in Utah in the future. Last week the Utah House of Representatives voted to stop police agencies from conducting sobriety checkpoints because they invade people’s privacy and allow officers to stop vehicles without probable cause, according to stgeorgeutah.com. The next stop for this bill is the state senate; however, its passage will be challenged by the opposition including many representatives, residents, and, of course, Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD).constitution.jpg

The United States Supreme Court stated in 1990 that the state has “a grave and legitimate interest” in stopping drunk drivers. That court ruled that DUI roadblocks did not violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, (see Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz).

In California, the California Supreme Court set out criteria to determine if the DUI checkpoint was conducted in a constitutional fashion, (see Ingersoll v. Palmer).

In conducting a drunk driving checkpoint, a law enforcement agency sets up a roadblock in an area where a high rate of alcohol related arrests and accidents happen. The area must be clearly marked off with warning signs and proper lighting. The officers are in full uniform and their vehicles are clearly visible. The time and duration of the operation is decided by effectiveness and safety. The intrusiveness to each motorist should be minimal. There should be a random formula for contacting a driver and the detention should brief. The contact should be just long enough to look for signs of impairment. If impairment is suspected, the officer can continue the investigation as they then have reasonable suspicion to detain.

If the driver is sent to the secondary area for further investigation, they are often asked to get out of their car. The officer then asks pre-field sobriety test questions such as, “What did you have to drink?” “When did you last eat?” “What time was your last drink?” “Where are you going?”
The officer may also ask the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests such as the walk and turn test, the one leg stand test, and the finger to nose test. The officer may even ask the driver to do a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. This is a breath test using a portable breath test machine.

Drivers should be aware that none of the field sobriety tests, including the PAS test and the pre-field sobriety test questions, have to be answered or performed. [However, if arrested, you must submit to either a blood or breath test.] During the investigation, the officer is trying to establish probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated. Doing any of these things helps the officer in their investigation and how you perform will be used against you in court if you are eventually arrested.

Be advised, if you do refuse to answer questions or perform the tests, often the officer will arrest you and you will be booked into jail.

These investigations are different than other criminal investigation. In other matters, officers are not allowed to detain a person unless they have reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred or is about to occur. In drunk driving checkpoint cases, the officer detains a driver just for driving through the checkpoint without any behaviors that would indicate a person in under the influence for purposes of driving. Although many people agree with checkpoints and there is a lot of political pressure to continue their operation, the courts should overturn precedent and find that checkpoints do amount to an invasion of privacy and they do violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights.

A constitutional way to combat drunk driving should be employed such as saturation patrols where law enforcement actively looks for people who appear to be DUI.

The above blog entry is by no means all-inclusive and is not legal advice. Laws may change and may not apply to your case. For the latest information or to get legal advice, speak to a DUI attorney in your area.

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San Diego Sheriff’s Department held drunk driving checkpoints in many areas in San Diego County this past weekend as part of their efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road this holiday season.

The San Marcos DUI checkpoint was held at 125 South Rancho Santa Fe Road on December 17th, at 7:00 p.m. until December 18th, at 2:00 a.m. The sheriff’s office reported that 2,271 vehicles passed through the checkpoint and 582 drivers were contacted. Five drivers were suspected of driving under the influence and they did the field sobriety tests. Four of those drivers were arrested for DUI. Two others were also arrested for driving while their license was suspended due to a prior DUI.

The Santee driving under the influence roadblock was held on December 17th. However, the exact location was not provided in the San Diego Sheriff’s Department press release. In that checkpoint, 525 drivers were contacted, 28 drivers were sent to secondary, 13 were given field sobriety tests because they were suspected of being under the influence, and 4 were arrested for drunk driving.

Vista’s drunk driving roadblock was held at 1450 East Vista Way on December 16th, from 7:30 p.m. until December 17th, at 2:00 a.m. The sheriff reported that 1,128 vehicles passed through the checkpoint and 677 drivers were contacted. Field sobriety tests were given to 7 suspected of being under the influence, resulting in 4 arrests.

Lemon Grove conducted a DUI checkpoint at the 7900 block of Broadway on December 16th, from 8:00 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. During this operation, 646 drivers were contacted, 43 were sent to secondary, and 2 drivers were arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.

Throughout San Diego County, 212 people have been arrested for DUI from 12:01 a.m. Friday, December 16th, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 18th. This is up from 196 in 2010 during the same time period.

The San Diego Sheriff’s also just announced more saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints through New Year’s. They specifically stated they will be out in force around Qualcomm Stadium on December 21st during the Poinsettia Bowl football game. A checkpoint will be conducted in Poway and Oceanside on December 23rd, (exact location not provided). Further saturation patrols will be ongoing throughout San Diego County from December 23rd through the 24th.

You can expect that San Diego law enforcement will continue to conduct saturation patrols and drunk driving checkpoints throughout San Diego during the New Year’s weekend also. Make sure you are not a statistic! Plan ahead and either plan to stay the night or have alternative transportation lined up before you head out to indulge in holiday cheer.

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xmas drinks.jpgPacific Beach, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, and Encinitas had DUI checkpoints set up over the weekend. Fourteen drivers were arrested for driving under the influence, according to 10news.com.

A Pacific Beach DUI checkpoint was conducted by San Diego Police in the 1600 block of Garnet Avenue on Friday night from 10:15pm until approximately 2:00am. Ten people were cited for alleged drunken driving.

Chula Vista’s sobriety checkpoint was held on North Fourth Street from 7pm until midnight on Friday. One person was arrested on suspected drunk driving charges.

The Imperial Beach drunk driving roadblock resulted in one DUI arrest by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The IB checkpoint was conducted in the 1000 block of Palm Avenue on Friday night from 8:00pm until 2:30am.

Encinitas also had a DUI roadblock that was conducted by the San Diego Sheriff’s on Saturday night through early Sunday morning. Six hundred cars went through the checkpoint in the 1700 block of South El Camino Real, and only two were arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.

Even with all DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols that law enforcement conducts during the holiday weeks, some people continue to drink and drive throughout San Diego County. Drunk driving is suspected in an incident that occurred in Lemon Grove on Friday at 5:45pm, where two people were killed in a fiery crash on southbound 125 just south of I-8.

Lemon Grove resident, Justin Foulds, 39, was heading home from a work Christmas party driving his Chevrolet Silverado. He side swiped a car and then struck a Nissan Pathfinder from behind which immediately caused a fire and possible explosion. The Pathfinder was being driven by Celia Torres, 73. She was in the vehicle with her grandson, David Gonzalez, 16, on their way to a dentist appointment in Tijuana. Both died at the scene.

DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter are some of the charges that Foulds could face after being arrested by the California Highway Patrol. His bail is currently set at $500,000.

Before heading out to celebrate for the holidays, have a plan on how you will stay safe, avoid the possibility of being arrested for drunk driving, and keep San Diego citizens safe. Pack a bag and plan on staying at the home of the party host. Designate a driver to remain sober and be responsible to drive you home. Save a San Diego taxi company’s telephone number in your phone and use it. Use public transportation or call a sober friend or family member for a ride.

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