Proven Approach With Results Forged Through Experience

Mark L. Deniz, Esq.

Six arrests at a downtown San Diego DUI checkpoint

| May 24, 2015 | Firm News |

The Gaslamp & downtown area is one of the most frequent areas for a San Diego DUI Checkpoint.

A San Diego DUI out of a checkpoint erases and brings out several issues in a San Diego DUI case.

The issue of WHO is usually driving is not in a San Diego DUI case.

A San Diego checkpoint case does raise flags for several issues. First, there usually is not bad driving. Someone comes into a checkpoint. The officer asks a few questions and may smell some alcohol. They direct the driver to a secondary screening. If the drivers does this well….does that help show impairment or lack thereof? Following directions and performing functions is a sign you are not impaired.

A part of a thorough San Diego DUI defense is to ensure the checkpoint is legal. Below is one of many cases that touches on the issue.

As the holidays come up it is key to be safe and smart. There is sure to be more San Diego DUI checkpoints before the year comes to an end.

SDPD lights DUI.jpeg

A San Diego Police Department DUI checkpoint set up in downtown San Diego Friday night resulted in six DUI arrests.

The checkpoint at Fifth Avenue and Beech Street was in operation from 11 p.m. Friday until 3 a.m. Saturday. According to the department, more than 800 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, with 603 motorists being screened by officers. Thirteen motorists were detained for further evaluation. Eight vehicles were impounded.

As the Memorial Day holiday weekend kicked off, police reminded drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out, and to call a taxi, sober friend or family member or use public transportation if you think you might be too impaired to drive. And if you suspect a friend has had too much to drink, they probably have.

If you are charged with a San Diego DUI or other Criminal offense, you need to call our firm immediately. We are available to take action on your case today. Please email or call us at 858-751-4384 or email me at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation. The key is to be proactive.

The full article can be found here.

San Diego-area municipalities have been increasingly using DUI or sobriety stops in recent years to apprehend suspected drunk drivers. The substantial state grant money, proceeds from fines and additional penalty assessments from court convictions has encouraged city governments and the California Highway Patrol to continue expanding the use of DUI checkpoints.

Checkpoints are often set up on weekends throughout San Diego County, from Oceanside to Chula Vista. The use of checkpoints is not always legal, however. In 1987, following the Ingersoll v. Palmer ruling, the United States Supreme Court gave guidelines necessary before any law enforcement officer(s) could initiate a checkpoint.

When a DUI checkpoint arrest is challenged in criminal court, the judge will consider each of the following factors:

  • The location chosen for the checkpoint
  • Time and duration the checkpoint is operated
  • Degree of discretion left to individual police officers
  • Standards set by superior officers
  • Whether advanced notice was given to the general public and approaching drivers
  • Adherence to road safety conditions
  • Length of time each driver is stopped and detained

Defending Your DUI Checkpoint Case

I, Mark Deniz, can help you evaluate whether your individual rights were violated and the appropriate next steps in your individual case. I am a local San Diego DUI lawyer who has handled hundreds of jury trials and hundreds of DUI cases throughout the San Diego area.

Common problems with DUI checkpoints include:

  1. Police officers stopping and detaining drivers who turn off the road before going through an announced DUI roadblock. Making a turn, even if for the expressed purpose of avoiding the roadblock, is not illegal and is not a legitimate reason to stop and detain a driver. It is a violation of your rights, and I can file a motion to have the evidence collected after an illegal stop and arrest thrown out of your case.
  2. Breath testing with mobile breath test devices. Breath testsadministered in the field may give faulty readings due to damage that can occur to the device in the field and the calibration of the device. I can challenge the reliability of the results on several grounds, including the requirements of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, which mandates that individuals being administered breath tests be observed by a police officer for a minimum of 15 continuous minutes prior to the test, which rarely occurs in any DUI arrest situation.

DUI checkpoints impose significant intrusions upon the general public. Their allowance in practice should be extremely limited. If you or a loved one was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving at a DUI roadblock in San Diego or surrounding areas, please call The Law Offices of Mark Deniz APLC to speak with me right away.