Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint results in one DUI arrest

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Tag Archives: orange county dui attorneys

Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint results in one DUI arrest

Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint results in one DUI arrest

Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned, through communication from the Costa Mesa Police Department, that a recent Costa Mesa DUI Checkpoint results in one DUI arrest and that police cited or arrested 13 others on suspicion of driving without a valid license at a DUI checkpoint on October 30, 2015.

2015-09-30 18.59.05
Orange County DUI Checkpoint Arrests

As we had previously announced, police officers had staffed the checkpoint from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. on the northbound side of Harbor Boulevard at Peterson Place, within the Costa Mesa City Limits.

As is typical for Orange County DUI checkpoints, during the six hour operation, 1,335 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, officers stopped 529 of them for screenings and checked 22 drivers for possible intoxication, and ended up impounded five vehicles during the operation.

The LA Times also reported on this DUI Checkpoint in Costa Mesa. The Associated Press reported also that social media has changed DUI checkpoints, and as a result,  DUI checkpoints may be on the way out.

Opponents point to constitutional privacy rights as one of a number of reasons why the checkpoints are a bad idea, says Doug Honig, for one, who is with the ACLU of Washington state.

“In our society, if you’re out and about on the highway and you aren’t doing anything wrong, law enforcement shouldn’t be stopping you,” Honig says. “They should have to have an individual suspicion that you are doing something wrong and not engaging in fishing expeditions.”

Although typically not very effective, as you can see from the statistics from this particular operation, DUI checkpoints are a big money maker for law enforcement – impound fees from unlicensed drivers (as in this DUI checkpoint, where impounded vehicles and unlicensed drivers were many times greater than the one DUI arrest), plus substantial money grants are only funded for checkpoints, and not the more effective DUI Saturation Patrols, through grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the Federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and in some cases, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Contact our DUI lawyer Orange County Robert Miller if you have questions about defenses in a DUI, or about handling DMV hearings in a DUI case.  We can help.

Contact our law firm today

 

 

Halloween DUIs more deadly than New Year’s Eve

Halloween DUIs more deadly than New Year’s Eve

Our Orange County DUI Attorney received information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about DUI accidents.  Fatal crashes involving a drunken driver occur three times more often on Halloween when compared to New Year’s Eve. That means that Halloween DUIs are more deadly than New Year’s Eve.

“They’re always more cognizant of not drinking and driving because they know law enforcement is out there and it’s probably not the kosher thing to do,” an official said regarding the jump in accidents on Halloween compared to New Year’s Eve. “Halloween rolls around, people aren’t thinking of that as much.”

Lurking among the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer is the deadliest day of them all – the Fourth of July holiday. The IIHS studied deaths resulting from auto accidents from 2005 to 2009 and ranked July 4 as the deadliest day of the year, with 144 driving-related fatalities on average.

The most traveled holiday period of the year is Thanksgiving weekend, and DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. Thanksgiving Eve is even referred to as “Black Wednesday,” as it may be the busiest night of the year for bars. Social binge drinking (consumption of a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time) is also common at this time of year.

The IIHS found that the second deadliest day after July 4 was September 2, followed by August 13, July 15, May 20, and November 11. Perhaps surprisingly, New Year’s Eve ranked 7th, with 130 average fatalities.

IIHS also discovered that seven of the 25 deadliest days in the U.S. occurred during August, which made it the deadliest month on the road. September and July rank as the second and third deadliest months, according to the NHTSA, and March had the fewest auto fatalities.

Many of the deadliest days occur when people celebrate special occasions and events, such as Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl. For example, a NHTSA study found that alcohol-related crashes claimed a life every 51 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, accounting for 32% of all fatalities that occurred that day.

Contact us for questions.

Don’t delay contacting us if you had a DUI, on Halloween, or any other day.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

 

 

Orange County DUI Checkpoints: Cinco de Mayo edition

Orange County DUI Checkpoints: Cinco de Mayo edition

Our Orange County DUI lawyers have learned from law enforcement about tonight’s DUI enforcement activities.  The cities of Garden Grove, Tustin, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach all have police officers assigned to heavy saturation patrols, from 6pm tonight to 3am tomorrow morning.

DUI Saturation Patrols involve having officers specially trained in DUI testing and detection patrol their respective cities, specifically looking for those persons that may be driving under the influence.  Statistics show that, when measured by DUI arrests, that DUI saturation patrols are much, much more effective than DUI checkpoints, which generally have a very low arrest rate.  For various political reasons, DUI checkpoints are heavily funded, and saturation patrols are not, which is why there are many more DUI checkpoints than patrols.

WHY DOES LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE ORANGE COUNTY DUI CHECKPOINTS?

DUI Checkpoints are even admitted by law enforcement to be less effective than other means of removing drunk drivers from the road. But, even though DUI checkpoints don’t work, police state they had a deterrent effect preventing people from driving in the first place.  The truth is that funding in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), MADD, and the Federal Government ensure DUI checkpoints are used first before other measures.

ARE DUI CHECKPOINTS LEGAL?

The US Supreme Court, as well as the law in California, makes DUI checkpoints legal, as long as they follow certain criteria, including:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: There are no hard and fast rules, but the timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint. In other words, put ’em up when the drunks are out.
  • Indicia of official nature of roadblock: This is more babble about bright lights and warning signs. They do mention that the lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicity: Ingersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

Contact us now if you have a DUI.

Don’t delay contacting us if you need help for a DUI.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.

Placentia DUI Checkpoint ends in a high speed crash

Placentia DUI Checkpoint ends in disaster.

DUI with Accident

A Placentia DUI Checkpoint resulted in tragedy. The City of Placentia’s Police Department had a DUI checkpoint on Friday April 17th, that ended up in disaster.  Going, according to some reports, over 100 miles per hour through the checkpoint, a 44 year old woman fled from the DUI checkpoint and led officers on a chase that ended when she flipped her car over construction equipment.

The checkpoint was in the 300 block of East Orangethorpe Avenue in Placentia. The driver ran a stoplight at Kramer Boulevard, and continued to speed up, until she collided with temporary railings blocking off Orangethorpe Avenue at Thames Street in Anaheim for construction underway there. The vehicle launched over a bulldozer that was parked along the curb and landed on its roof, pinned between a block wall and the bulldozer.

That increased her DUI charges to a DUI with an accident, and an allegation or enhancement of DUI while speeding.

Orange County Fire Authority and Anaheim Fire had to pull the driver from the vehicle. She was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center and the woman is in critical condition, with a DUI and a crash investigation still pending.

The data over several years of Orange County DUI Checkpoints seem to indicate that DUI checkpoints are a bad idea, and are not effective.

In evaluating whether or not a DUI checkpoint is legal, DUI caselaw requires that procedures be followed, and public safety is generally a concern.  Courts generally require that there be procedures utilized that don’t leave discretion to the officer at the checkpoint. See Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. at 662, 99 S.Ct. 1391. The Louisiana Supreme Court decision in State v. Jackson 764 So.2d 64, 72-73, (La., 2000) illustrates the considerations that courts generally employ to determine the validity of sobriety checkpoints.  Those are as follows:

  1. The location, time and duration of a checkpoint, and other regulations for operation of the checkpoint should be established (preferably in written form) by supervisors or other administrative personnel rather than the field officers implementing the checkpoint;
  2. Advance warning to the approaching motorist with signs, flares and other indications to warn of the impending stop in a safe manner and to provide notice of its official nature as a police checkpoint;
  3. Detention of the motorist for a minimal length of time; and
  4. Use of systematic non-random criteria for stopping motorists.

Under the California DUI case law of the Ingersoll case here in California, it’s required that police give notice of a checkpoint.  In fact, you’ve probably seen headlines in your local paper or have read a tweet from the police department warning residents of an upcoming sobriety checkpoint, disclosing precisely when and where the screening will take place. DUI Specific Apps exist for that purpose.  Press releases from Police Agencies exist to let people know about it.  Those that plan ahead and are the most dangerous serial drunk drivers, or alcoholics, are the least likely to be caught in a DUI checkpoint for that reason.

DUI Checkpoints are not favored by police

Raising Orange County DUI Awareness

Some officers also feel that sobriety checkpoint duty result in few arrests and aren’t very productive.  See: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=637&issue_id=72005

Law enforcement press releases constantly state that the main goal of DUI checkpoints is just awareness, not public safety or arrests.  Awareness can be accomplished by  other means, and MADD in particular does a good job of awareness.  Not many people do not know that driving under the influence is illegal.  There have been many high-profile DUI awareness campaigns over the years sponsored by government media action. Everyone is familiar with the phrase “don’t drink and drive.” These less expensive, less constitutionally-intrusive public awareness campaigns make more sense than DUI checkpoints — if awareness is the goal.

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If you have questions for an Orange County DUI Lawyercontact us today.

Orange County DUI Checkpoint in Dana Point yields no arrests

Orange County DUI Checkpoint in Dana Point yields no arrests

Orange County DUI Checkpoints

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced today that the Orange County DUI Checkpoint in Dana Point yielded no arrests during the checkpoint held on April 3 and April 4, 2015).  That Orange County DUI Checkpoint stopped and screened 623 drivers.

Having no arrests is consistent with prior statistics for Orange County DUI Checkpoints, which often lead to a zero arrest rate.  That is for various reasons, including the fact that the DUI checkpoint typically has to be announced ahead of of time, and that a DUI checkpoint is a particularly inefficient method of finding and arresting those under the influence.  Looks like this Easter DUI checkpoint resulted in a big goose egg for law enforcement.

Why does law enforcement have Orange County DUI Checkpoints?

DUI Checkpoints are even admitted by law enforcement to be less effective than other means of removing drunk drivers from the road. But, even though DUI checkpoints don’t work, police state they had a deterrent effect preventing people from driving in the first place.  The truth is that funding in grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), MADD, and the Federal Government ensure DUI checkpoints are used first before other measures.

Are DUI Checkpoints legal?

The US Supreme Court, as well as DUI laws in California, makes DUI checkpoints legal, as long as they follow certain criteria, including:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: There are no hard and fast rules, but the timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint. In other words, put ’em up when the drunks are out.
  • Indications of the official nature of roadblock: This is more babble about bright lights and warning signs. They do mention that the lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicity: Ingersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

Contact us

Contact our firm if you have any questions about Orange County DUI Checkpoints.

Don’t delay contacting us if you were arrested for a DUI.  We can start you on a plan of action today that will help your court date later. The DMV needs action within 10 days of your arrest.  Contact us today.