Thanksgiving week is almost here. As we get into the holiday season it is important to be safe and smart. If you unfortunately did get in trouble it is key to get started working on getting the best resolution right away. This is especially so with San Diego DUI checkpoints. Call our office now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384.
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.
Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holiday travel weekends of the year, and with millions of people hitting the road, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department says it wants you to do the responsible thing and not drink and drive.
Sheriff’s deputies say they’ll conduct additional DUI patrols across San Diego County from Thursday, Nov. 24 (Thanksgiving) through Sunday, Nov. 27.
The Sheriff’s Department says the goal of the checkpoints is is simple: to remove impaired drivers from roadways and prevent crashes that can cause serious injury or death.
“DUI-related crashes are 100 percent preventable,” Sheriff Bill Gore said in a statement. “Do the responsible thing this Thanksgiving and every day: don’t drink and drive.”
During the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, deputies arrested 14 people for impaired driving, while 27 people were arrested during the same time period in 2014, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
To date, nearly 1,200 people have been arrested for DUI by the Sheriff’s Department in 2016. In 2015, deputies arrested 1,521 people for impaired driving.
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, 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, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon 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.