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.
If you or a loved one is facing drunk driving charges as a result of a DUI checkpoint, an experienced Costa Mesa DUI defense lawyer at Sitkoff & Hanrahan can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us at (866) 430-8383 to find out how we can help you fight these DUI charges.