The first weekend of fall is here. As we get closer to 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.
If you are planning to enjoy the autumn, be sure you take public transportation or have a designated driver.
The San Diego Police Department is warning drivers of a DUI and license checkpoint somewhere in the city limits on Saturday night.
Officers will be stopping drivers and checking for signs of alcohol or drug impairment between 11 a.m. Saturday and 3 a.m. Sunday.
Checkpoints are regularly announced in advance, with police noting that “research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.”
The checkpoint will be set up in an undisclosed location with a history of DUI arrests and accidents.
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
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.
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