Articles Posted in DUI Checkpoints

During the “Avoid the 100 DUI Winter Campaign” of 2011, 2,406 arrests for DUI (driving under the influence) were made throughout Los Angeles County. This year, there will be a similar effort to crack down on drunk drivers. According to a news report in The Glendora Patch, between December 14, 2012 and January 1, 2013, there will be 72 DUI checkpoints, 153 local DUI saturation patrols, and 25 DUI warrant and probation sweeps in Los Angeles County. Additionally, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will utilize all available officers during Christmas and New Year’s weekends.

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Motorists should be on the lookout for DUI checkpoints throughout Los Angeles County. On December 14, 2012 alone, there were DUI checkpoints in Claremont, Downey, El Segundo, Hollywood, City of Industry, Malibu, Redondo Beach, Huntington Park, and Pasadena. This is an indication of things to come in the next two weeks.
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Los Angeles County law enforcement officials have announced a massive campaign to crack down on drunk driving. According to a news report in The Pasadena Star News, the “Avoid the 100 Task Force” campaign will be in effect for 17 days starting now through the Labor Day weekend. The increased law enforcement will include extra patrols and checkpoints, and the DUI crackdown will cover all of Los Angeles County. For example, in the San Gabriel Valley area, checkpoints will be set up in Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, Norwalk, West Covina, and numerous other locations.

dui-9167018Small.jpgThese types of crackdowns often result in an increased number of California drunk driving arrests. Drunk driving convictions in California can result in a number of penalties including fines, lengthy license suspensions, and jail time.

First-time offenders will likely face a fine ranging between $390 and $1,000 as well as a license suspension of four months. Some first-time offenders will also have to spend between four days and six months behind bars, have mandatory attendance at a DUI school, and possible community service.
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police_sirens_3529373.jpgAround every major holiday, Los Angeles law enforcement officials increase their efforts to combat drunken driving. Drivers should expect to see several DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Since Independence Day this year falls on a Wednesday, patrols will be out not only on that day but also throughout the entire week.

According to a City News Service report, there will be DUI saturation patrols on July 4, 2012 in the Harbor patrol area and on July 8, 2012 in the Rampart patrol area. Officials will also set up a number of 4th of July DUI checkpoints in and around the Los Angeles metro area. For example, the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) will be near Vermont Avenue and Sixth Street on July 6, Lincoln Boulevard and Maxell Avenue on July 7, and at Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Paxton Street on July 8. There will be many additional DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols to keep an eye out for impaired drivers as well.

Officials urge drivers to plan a safe way home before going out to celebrate the holiday. All drivers should designate a sober driver or contact a taxi for a ride if alcohol consumption was a part of their festivities. Hosts of parties should actively protect their friends by taking keys away from intoxicated drivers.

DUI (driving under the influence) task force officers strategically setup checkpoints in busy areas where they suspect drunk drivers will travel. Checkpoints are not allowed on interstate highways. Therefore, roadblocks are often set up along major thoroughfares that lead to highway entrances. One way to potentially avoid a DUI trap is to remain on secondary streets that are away from busy roadways.

It is also common for officers to set up roadblocks near restaurants and bars that remain open late at night. Main streets that have multiple late night establishments will likely be ground zero for police officers looking to fill their DUI arrest quota. If you are spending a night out in these types of areas, it may be in your best interest to follow real-time checkpoint information through social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

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If you are approaching a DUI checkpoint in California, it is important that you do not act suspiciously. For example, it is not in your best interest to hastily make a U-turn to avoid the roadblock. Most DUI checkpoints have at least one officer waiting in a “chase” car that is ready to track down drivers who are attempting to avoid the checkpoint. They commonly assume that anyone avoiding a checkpoint is afraid of facing an arrest.

Los Angeles police officials carried out an intensive effort the weekend before the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend to catch DUI (driving under the influence) drivers. According to a City News Service report, LAPD operated a checkpoint on Vermont Avenue between Pico Boulevard and 12th Street in the Pico-Union district and another on Manchester Avenue between Hoover and Figueroa streets in South Los Angeles. A sobriety checkpoint was also held on Sherman Way between Sepulveda Boulevard and Orion Avenue in North Hollywood. On the city’s eastside, a saturation patrol was conducted near the Hollenbeck Station. All of these checkpoints and saturation patrols are funded by grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).policecar12267621.jpg

With the unofficial start of summer next weekend, law enforcement agencies in Southern California will begin to step up their DUI enforcement efforts with sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and enhanced joint task force efforts. Under the law, officials are required to give drivers notice of these checkpoints so that they have the option to avoid them. Also, officers cannot arrest a driver solely based on the fact that he or she attempted to turn away from a checkpoint. In addition, the checkpoints are always required to have a supervising officer present.

If you have been charged with drunk driving as a result of being arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it is important to look into whether your rights were violated. The experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers at Takakjian & Sitkoff have a long and successful track record of defending drunk driving charges that resulted from checkpoints or saturation patrols. Please contact us at (866) 430-8383 if you have been accused of driving under the influence.

drink_drive_4294490.jpgThe Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), California Highway Patrol, and several other local law enforcement agencies countywide conducted sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols for the Cinco de Mayo weekend. The “Avoid the 100” Los Angeles County DUI Task Force deployed saturation patrols countywide while CHP officials conducted similar patrols on freeways and in unincorporated areas. LAPD also operated a sobriety checkpoint at Cahuenga Boulevard and Broadlawn Drive in North Hollywood Saturday night through Sunday morning. It is not clear how many people were arrested as a result of these Cinco de Mayo checkpoints and saturation patrols. This year, since the holiday fell on a weekend, officials stepped up DUI enforcement in Los Angeles County where many parties and festivals took place.

This is only a preview of what Angelenos can expect in the summer, with Memorial Day just weeks away. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is notorious for DUI accidents in Southern California. Over the last few years, saturation patrols and checkpoints have increased significantly in the Southland during the summer. Many police agencies get funding for these checkpoints through the California Office of Traffic Safety. In addition, agencies also partner by forming regional DUI task forces.

If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence as a result of a checkpoint or saturation patrol, the experienced Los Angeles County DUI defense attorneys at Takakjian & Sitkoff can help you better understand your legal rights and options. We have a successful track record of fighting these charges by pointing out mistakes that may have been made by officers at checkpoints or procedures that may not have been followed properly. Please contact us at (866) 430-8383 for a free and comprehensive consultation.

A sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint over the weekend in Costa Mesa resulted in eight DUI (driving under the influence) arrests. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Costa Mesa police conducted the DUI checkpoint Saturday night through early morning Sunday at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Peterson Place. About 2,500 vehicles went through the checkpoint and 300 cars were screened. Police arrested seven people for driving under the influence of alcohol and one person for driving under the influence of drugs.

DUI checkpoints have become extremely common in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties as the state cracks down on drunk driving. However, it is important to remember that even when you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at a checkpoint, it is possible to fight the charges successfully. A knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer can question why the defendant was randomly stopped and also challenge the validity of the checkpoint itself. It is possible for such charges to get dismissed or reduced in a California court.

Checkpoints do not operate in a vacuum. Police departments are required to follow certain policies. For example, they are required to give adequate warning to drivers about the checkpoint. There must also be an available route for a driver to drive away from the checkpoint. You cannot be arrested solely on the basis that you chose to drive away from a checkpoint. Also, the law requires that supervising officers be present at the checkpoint.

Los Angeles law enforcement officials are actively attempting to crack down on drunk driving by utilizing DUI patrols and DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoint arrests are different from DUI arrests that result from a traffic stop in a number of ways. For example, police at checkpoints cannot prove that a person’s driving ability was impaired because he or she did not witness erratic or dangerous driving before speaking with the driver. Additionally, not all checkpoints are valid, and there are a number of mistakes that officers can make during the arrest.

All Los Angeles checkpoints require a supervising officer in charge of the roadblock, a public notice as to where and where the checkpoint will be held, and a route to drive away from the checkpoint. When pulling up to the checkpoint, an officer may stop you to ask a few questions. If the officer suspects that you have been drinking, he or she may ask for your license and registration. Officers at checkpoints will also be looking for the smell of alcohol, evidence of alcohol, or slurred speech.

If you have been stopped at a checkpoint or have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is important that you remain calm, answer questions honestly, and cooperate with the officers. If you are worried that you will say the wrong thing, it is your right to refuse to speak without an attorney. It is important to remember, however, that refusing to cooperate will likely result in an arrest and a trip to the police station for an official DUI breath test.

Gathering together to watch which team takes home the prestigious Vince Lombardi Trophy is a time-honored American tradition. Although this is a time for us to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday with our family members and friends, it is also usually the time when there is higher than average alcohol consumption. Whether you are watching the game in your favorite sports bar or at a friend’s house, it is critical that you do not drink and drive. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is beefing up its DUI patrols citywide this weekend with sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols, and special task forces.

According to LAPD’s statistics, over the last three years, drunk driving-related accidents have claimed 50 lives and injured 3,413 people just in the city of Los Angeles. Right through the weekend, there will be several DUI enforcement efforts conducted by the LAPD. On Feb. 2, there will be a DUI saturation patrol in the Olympic area from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Feb. 3, a sobriety checkpoint will be held on Vermont Avenue at 5th Street from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. On Feb. 4, LAPD will conduct a DUI checkpoint at Foothill Boulevard and Hubbard Street from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m. On Super Bowl Sunday, a DUI saturation patrol will be held in the 77th Street area from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.police_sirens_3529373.jpg

It is not worth it to get a DUI this weekend or worse, get into an injury accident. If you are planning, or attending, a Super Bowl party where alcohol will be served, please plan ahead and designate a sober driver. In Los Angeles, a DUI can prove extremely costly. Some of the consequences of a DUI conviction include: jail time, loss of driving privileges, an increase in auto insurance rates, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

bar_neon_3037521.jpgThe Ventura Police Department’s Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI checkpoint Friday, January 13, 2012. According to a news report in the Ventura Edhat, the sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint will be held between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. at an undisclosed location within city limits. Officers will be contacting drivers who pass through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol or drug impairment. Police will also examine drivers’ licenses for validity. Officials say that those caught driving impaired are looking at several serious consequences, including: jail time, license suspension, insurance rate hikes, fines, court fees, mandatory alcohol programs, and other costs that can go higher than $10,000.

According to the Ventura Police Department, three people have died and 82 have suffered injuries as a result of alcohol-related crashes in the city. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which funds these sobriety checkpoints through the California Office of Traffic Safety, maintains that DUI checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies. They also help deter drunk driving and enhance public safety, officials say.

While checkpoints may deter DUI to some degree, what is not commonly known is the number of ways in which they can violate the rights of drivers. The officers who man these checkpoints are often not educated properly on how to make stops or whom to stop. Officers generally look for signs of intoxication or reckless or erratic driving. It is important for drivers to remember that they cannot be stopped simply for not wanting to go through a checkpoint or turning around. Law enforcement agencies are also required to clearly announce the date, time, and location of these checkpoints.

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