Orange County DUI Checkpoints: Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente

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Tag Archives: Seal Beach

Orange County DUI Checkpoints: Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente

Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente DUI Checkpoints announced.  Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that there are DUI checkpoints tonight, April 10th, 2015, planned in the following cities:

Seal Beach:

The Seal Beach Police Department Traffic Unit, part of the Orange County Avoid DUI Task Force, will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, April 10, 2015, at the intersection of PCH and 1st Street between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.

Santa Ana:

Santa Ana DUI checkpoint: The Santa Ana Police Department have a DUI checkpoint planned, in the 2100 block of Main Street, between 17th Street and the 5 Freeway, planned for between 9pm and 3am.

Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente:

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has saturation patrols (officers trained to look for those driving under the influence) patrolling the cities of Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente tonight, all evening.

In case you are wondering about the difference between DUI saturation patrols in Orange County, and DUI Checkpoints in Orange County, we have a detailed article on the subject.  The fact is that DUI Checkpoints Don’t Work, and are not effective, but are motivated by money.

Check out the article on our website about that at the following link: Why DUI Checkpoints Don’t Work

DUI checkpoints are highly visible by design and often publicized in advance—and thus extremely easy to avoid.

In evaluating whether or not a DUI checkpoint is legal, 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. Jackson764 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 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 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.

EVEN POLICE OFFICERS SAY THAT DUI CHECKPOINTS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE, AND A WASTE OF THEIR TIME.

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.

Barbara Harsha, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, even admits as much.  “The goal is not to write tickets or make arrests but rather to remind the public that they should drive sober or face serious consequences.”

But Riverside County, where Riverside DUI cases and Murrieta DUI cases have a high rate of arrest, disagrees.  Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff, whose deputies made 491 DUI arrests at 83 checkpoints in 16 cities last year, says: “patrols are still the most effective. We make light-years more arrests on random patrols than at checkpoints.

What to do if you are in an Orange County DUI Checkpoint

So what should you do if you face an OC DUI Checkpoint?  When approaching a DUI Checkpoint the best thing to do is remain calm, follow the officers instructions as well as the flow of traffic. Asking for proof of ID and registration is not in violation of your civil rights and the practice of traffic stops has been upheld by the Supreme Court to help protect the safety and well being of all drivers on the road.

You can also politely refuse all field sobriety tests, refuse to answer any questions about drinking, and politely refuse the field breathalyzer, but would have to take a blood or breath test for evidential purposes, or lose your license for one year.

No one wants drunk drivers on the road. But no one wants people texting while driving, or people eating lunch on the road, or people with children in the car either, which statistically are even more dangerous, and result in way more deaths.  Making a system that is fair to all and puts officers where they can do the most good, is good policy.

Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente DUI Checkpoints announced

If you have questions about Orange County DUI Checkpoints, contact our firm at (877) 989-7789.  We are here to help in any way with an Orange County DUI case.