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Saturation Patrols and DUI Checkpoints

DUI Checkpoints occur all over California.  There was a recent checkpoint in neighboring San Bernardino county.

There is more and more emphasis on Saturation patrols.  Saturation Patrols usually result in more DUI arrests than checkpoints.  Each comes with its issues.

A DUI checkpoint in San Bernardino resulted in five arrests Friday night.

The checkpoint was conducted in the 300 block of W. 9th Street between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m., according to a San Bernardino Police Dept. release.

About 300 vehicles were screened. Three drivers were arrested for DUI-Alcohol offenses, one was arrested for DUI-Drug impairment and one was arrested for carrying a loaded firearm.

An additional 23 drivers were cited for driving unlicensed and 18 were cited for other traffic violations.

Police have another saturation patrol scheduled for Friday, March 20.

The full article can be found here.

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”?

Definition: Saturation 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 DUI Saturation Patrols: The primary focus for officers during  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, DUI Saturation comes with a price for the people who live in the saturated community.  This includes people who live in the community.  Why?  Because in 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,  DUI saturation patrols result in more tickets for San Diego 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 DUIs on the street, the citizens of Santee will have to endure more stops by police.  More in the Santee community will have to go through 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 Santee 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 DUI.   This means the Santee community may be safer because more DUI drivers will be stopped….but at what price?

So, next time you are driving down Cuyamaca St 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 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 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, 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, 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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