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La Mesa police snag grant for traffic enforcement and DUI saturation Patrols

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2014 | Firm News |

Law enforcement agencies are on the hunt for grant money. In this case the city of La Mesa won a grant for traffic and La Mesa DUI Saturation patrols (which I describe in detail below). What needs to be examined is whether there is a number involved to keep the grant. Police always talk about not having quotas, however, is it not a quota when they have to keep their grant by reaching a certain number? Can they lose it to an agency that is more deserving because it has more arrests? All of this needs to be examined.

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La Mesa police have been awarded a $38,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety for a yearlong program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to help prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.

“It will be used as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education,” said Police Chief Ed Aceves.

After falling dramatically between 2006-10, the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions saw slight increases in 2011 and 2012 statewide, Aceves said. The grant funding will go toward addressing problems such as distracted driving, impaired driving and speeding.

“We’ll attempt to address all those issues by educating the public through enforcement opportunities,” Aceves said.

From Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014, the La Mesa Police Department investigated 151 traffic collisions, in which 197 people were injured and one person was killed. The No. 1 factor in the crashes was speeding, according to Traffic Division Sgt. Greg Runge. Driving under the influence and unsafe turning are also major factors.

In evaluating the departments statistics since Jan. 1, the intersection with the most collisions was Fletcher Parkway and Jackson Drive.

Office of Traffic Safety Director Rhonda Craft said that California’s roadways are still among the safest in the nation.

“But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users,” Craft said. “The La Mesa Police Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share: ‘Toward zero deaths, every one counts.'”

Activities that the grant will fund include educational presentations; La Mesa DUI saturation patrols; distracted driving enforcement; seat belt and child safety seat enforcement; speed, red light and stop sign enforcement; and identifying “worst-of-the-worst” La Mesa DUI offenders.

The full article can be found here.

Here is some more information about Saturation patrols.

Law Enforcement is utilizing “Saturation Patrols” rather than sobriety checkpoints more often. It helps beef up police presence and ultimately brings in ample revenue due to increased traffic citations given. DUI saturation greatly affect the members of the impacted community both good and bad (and usually without their knowledge). An initial analysis of a good DUI defense is to find out whether the officer was on patrol as part of a DUI saturation detail.

So what exactly is a “DUI Saturation Patrol”?

DefinitionSaturation patrols involve law enforcement deploying additional police officers to targeted roadways during select time periods to detect and apprehend impaired drivers.

Law Enforcement Perspective 

Primary MIssion of La Mesa DUI Saturation Patrols

The primary focus for officers during Mesa saturation patrols is to find impaired drivers by observing changes in driving behaviors. The behaviors most often assessed are: lane deviation, following too closely, and/or speeding (Greene, 2003). The intention of this heavier police presence is to increase motorists’ perception that they will be arrested if they drive drunk. Saturation patrols are legal and do not present many legal issues beyond those associated with routine traffic stops. Measured in arrests per working hour, these blanket patrols are viewed by some as the most effective method of apprehending drunken drivers (Greene, 2003). Many police departments favor them over sobriety checkpoints for their effectiveness, reduced staffing, and the comparative ease of operating saturation patrols.

Reality: In practice, La MEsa DUI Saturation comes with a price for the people who live in the saturated community. This includes people who live in the La Mesa community (San Diego). Why? Because in La Mesa DUI saturation, investigations officers are looking to make a traffic stop for the slightest violation To them, that observation is their first sign of possible impairment. Instead of an objective analysis of their observations, EVERY action a vehicle makes outside the norm is possibly due to impairment. When they approach the drivers window, they are not going to contact the driver and note observations that may show impairment, but are approaching with a “tell me why you are NOT DUI” mentality. More drivers in Point Loma get detained and investigated when in most other instances they would not. Furthermore, La Mesa DUI saturation patrols result in more tickets for La Mesa drivers. The police will stop you for rolled stop signs, no seatbelt, a slight drift in the other lane, and other infractions that police may normally drive by in other community.

So what does this mean?: In exchange for less La Mesa DUIs on the street, the citizens of La Mesa will have to endure more stops by police. More in the La Mesa community will have to go through La Mesa DUI evaluation and Field Sobriety tests even when they are not impaired because the police are looking to arrest. While the saturation patrols are legal, the citizens of La Mesa will ultimately get more traffic tickets than other communities because the police are looking to stop you for the slightest traffic violation. That is the purpose those officers are on patrol that day….it is their mandate and mindset…to them it is their first clue to a La Mesa DUI. This means the La Mesa community may be safer because more La Mesa DUI drivers will be stopped….but at what price?

So, next time you are driving down Baltimore Dr. and see a heavy police presence. Some of the officers are just on normal patrol….while others are there just looking for you to make the slightest traffic infraction to give them the reason to pull you over and conduct a La Mesa DUI investigation. Be prepared.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, Chula Vista DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI, San Diego Expungement, San Diego Bench Warrant, San Diego Failure to Appear, San Diego Restraining Orders, San Diego Terminate Probation, San Diego Minor Possession of Alcohol, San Diego Probation Violation, San Diego Prop 47, Lakeside DUI, Lemon Grove DUI, National City DUI, Cardiff DUI, Racho Santa Fe San Diego DUI, Rancho Bernardo DUI, Spring Valley DUI, Solana Beach DUI, Leucadia DUI, Golden Hills DUI, North Park DUI, Torrey Pines DUI, Eastlake DUI, Paradise Valley DUI, it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected].

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