By Dale Gribow
First: You should realize that there are more DUI FATALITIES here in the Coachella Valley, per capita, than anywhere else in California. Thus it is logical that DUI arrests and fatalities spike on July 4th. Naturally our law enforcement agencies become more vigilant on holiday weekend.
Second: Holidays bring out a lot of DUI checkpoints. These checkpoints are legal, as long as the police follow certain protocols.
Everyone wants to know if you can turn around at a DUI Checkpoint? Though you are not required to drive through a checkpoint and thus can turn at a side street, you must follow all traffic laws. Illegal U-turns or erratic driving can get you pulled over, even if avoiding the checkpoint along can’t.
Third: there are a lot more Drunk Drivers that hit the road at night. Many of these drivers have been drinking all day and driving at night. Thus the odds are in the favor of the police that a good percentage of the drivers will have had a drink. Once the officer has probable cause or a reason to stop the driver, then if they smell alcohol they can investigate further. If they see a bag of drugs or a gun on the seat, they can likewise look into the propriety of an arrest for those charges.
When stopped the impaired driver usually makes many mistakes. They are not aware, unless they read my weekly legal column, that the field sobriety and breath test at the scene are optional. Thus you do not have to take the walk the line, finger to nose, reciting the alphabet backwards and other so called sobriety tests. Likewise the breath test at the scene (unless you are on probation) is optional.
A driver stopped and offered DUI tests should be cooperative and politely say that their attorney is Dale Gribow and he advised them not to talk without calling Gribow for permission. They should explain that “they have been advised these Field Sobriety Tests and breath test at the scene are optional. If that is correct Officer, then I elect not to take them. Then explain that you are happy to cooperate with law enforcement and take a blood test.” Remember – Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver so DON’T TALK to POLICE without your lawyer’s permission.
Drivers want to know if Drug Swabs are legal. Not only is it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol but it is also illegal to drive under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs or drugs alone. This is true even if the drugs are prescribed by doctors. A Blood test allows the police to run the driver for drugs, unlike a breath test.
Fourth: Because of the increase in arrests, drivers will have spent a lot more time in a holding cell before release. Normally a driver is held for 4 hours or more. The higher the reading the longer one’s time is in custody. However during a holiday weekend the increase in arrests slows down the system. If you were arrested on Friday July 1st you might not have gone before the judge until Monday or Tuesday July 5 & 6th … if you were not released OR posted bail.
The moral of the story “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI OR UBER………IT IS A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME ………SO DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER THIS SUMMER”
If you have any questions regarding this column or ideas for future columns please contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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