San Diego County Division of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported driving under the influence arrests were down from 33 to 23 during the Thanksgiving holiday, according to swrnn.com. The reporting period was from the evening of Wednesday, November 21st, through 6:00 a.m. on Friday, November 23rd. In addition, one person was killed during this period, as opposed to zero in 2011.
Another drunk driving roadblock was held in downtown San Diego on November 24th, in the 1500 block of First Avenue from approximately 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. As reported by scoopsandiego.com, 1397 cars passed through the checkpoint, 836 drivers were contacted by law enforcement, and 28 drivers were evaluated in the secondary area. 19 arrests were made on suspicion of driving under the influence.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was awarded another grant to continue its DUI enforcement efforts in 2013 through Avoid the 15 DUI Task Force. Thecoastnews.com reported the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) gave $300,000 to the sheriffs to conduct more DUI and license suspension checkpoints, drunk driving saturation patrols, warrant sweeps, and court sting operations that specifically target drunk driving and DUI probation violations.
San Diego Probation Department was given a $500,000 grant by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help in its supervision of high risk DUI offenders through its DUI Enforcement Team, according to utsandiego.com. High risk offenders include those convicted of multiple drunk driving cases or felony DUI’s where someone was severely injured.
SD Probation reported 124 arrests in 2012, including those who failed to stop drinking alcohol or continued to drive without a valid license.
Chula Vista resident, Arlene Hernandez, 22, was ordered to stand trial after a preliminary hearing on November 27th. Cbs8.com reported that Hernandez was charged with manslaughter, DUI causing injury, and felony child abuse stemming from an accident where her car ended up in the Otay Reservoir on August 5th. Both Hernandez’s 5 year old daughter and her friend were killed in the accident.
A Point Loma accident involving a San Diego Police car ended with a short chase and the eventual arrest of Kaveri Fields, 24, on suspicion of drunk driving and hit-and-run on November 30th, according to nctimes.com. No further details were available.
Drivers should heed the warning….law enforcement is out in full force over the holiday season looking for drunk drivers. Don’t end your holiday celebrations in tragedy. Make sure you have a plan before heading out to your holiday party. Plan to stay at the host’s home, use public transportation or a cab, call a sober friend, designate a person in your group to abstain from drinking, or simply enjoy the party without consuming alcohol.
But, if you should find yourself in the driver’s seat with blue lights flashing behind you, keep these tips in mind:
- You do not have to say anything to the officer. Keep in mind, the officer is looking to build a drunk driving case against you. What you say will end up in the police report and it will be used against you.
- You can refuse to do the field sobriety tests, (i.e. the walk and turn, counting, alphabet, etc.).
- You do not have to breathe into the PAS (preliminary alcohol screening) test UNLESS you are on DUI probation or under 21 years old. However, if arrested, you must submit to a breath or blood test.
If you are cited for driving under the influence, you owe it to yourself to hire an exclusively DUI defense firm.
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.
If you’re charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in San Diego, call The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman for help. We offer a free, confidential phone consultation, so you can learn about your rights and options with no obligation. Call us at 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page.