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Santee Solana Beach DUI Checkpoints planned this weekend

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Santee Solana Beach DUI Checkpoints planned this weekend

Opening weekend for the chargers. Football season is in full effect. The weather is perfect to hit the beaches or pools.  As you enjoy the season be safe and smart.  Do not put yourself in a situation where you can be in a DUI investigation.  

If you or someone you love is charged with a DUI or other crime you need to call our office now at (858) 751-4384 for a free consultation.

In a continuing effort to fight drunk driving, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department is planning DUI checkpoints in Santee and Solana Beach over the weekend.

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The first checkpoint will be Friday night from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location in Santee. The second will be Saturday night from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. somewhere in Solana Beach.

DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the streets, as well as to educate the public about the dangers of impaired driving. Deputies also check for expired driver licenses and other violations.

The sheriff’s checkpoints are funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safe

San Diego DUI Checkpoint law:

In the landmark case Ingersoll v. Palmer, the California Supreme Court carved out an exemption to the “search and seizure” rule that would pave the way for twenty-five years of DUI checkpoints.

We felt it would be appropriate, at the quarter-century mark, to review the case and remind the public of the holdings.

DUI checkpoints were a new thing back in mid-1980s California. In fact, Ingersoll was filed just three days after California’s first DUI checkpoint. State officials studied existing cases and statutes and devised what was supposed to be a constitutional plan. Much of that plan was incorporated into the Ingersoll opinion, which likens DUI checkpoints to agricultural checkpoints and airport screenings to avoid the Fourth Amendment.

The following factors help determine the constitutionality of a checkpoint:

  • Decision making by supervisors: This is important to ensure that checkpoints aren’t set up in “arbitrary and capricious” locations. The court didn’t say so, but we’re guessing they wanted to avoid any accusations of racial profiling.
  • Limits on discretion of field officers: The theme of distrust of the officer continues. Strict procedures and a random selection of drivers according to a preset pattern (every third driver, for example) are suggested to avoid abuse.
  • Maintenance of safety conditions: We’re not sure how it applies to constitutionality, but the court wanted lots of bright lights and signs.
  • Reasonable location: The location should be based on relevant factors, such as areas with high incidences of DUI or DUI accidents.
  • Time and duration: There are no hard and fast rules, but the timing should be set to optimize the effectiveness of the checkpoint. In other words, put ’em up when the drunks are out.
  • Indicia of official nature of roadblock: This is more babble about bright lights and warning signs. They do mention that the lights and signage should be visible for the sake of notification to the drivers. Drivers also can’t be pulled over for avoiding the checkpoint, unless they violate a law to do so.
  • Length and nature of detention: The time of the stop should be minimized as to infringe on a person’s rights as little as possible. That means peek at the eyes, smell for booze, and look for cans. If there are no signs of intoxication, the driver should be let go. If they look or smell drunk, field sobriety tests are appropriate.
  • Advance publicity: Ingersoll was in favor of advance publicity. It referred to the deterrent effect and stated that the notice minimizes intrusiveness to a person’s rights. In 1993, the court in People v. Banks stated that publicity was not a requirement, but it certainly helps.

These guidelines are not created equal. Some, like the random selection of cars, are more important than others, like advance publicity. As for the applicability to a specific checkpoint, we’d recommend discussing the matter with a local attorney.

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If you or someone you love is charged with a DUI or other crime you need to call our office now at (858) 751-4384 for a free consultation.

The full article can be found here.

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