By Dale Gribow
Last Saturday night 12/17/16 if you were driving W/B on Hwy 111 in RM you probably went through a DUI checkpoint. But did you come out with your driver’s license and are the Checkpoints or Saturation Patrols legal?
During holidays and concerts, Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols are increased to deal with the increase of parties and drinking and driving. Most people don’t realize we have more DUI FATALITIES in the CV…per capita, than anywhere else in California. That makes DUI Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols essential to save lives……both ours and the driver.
For police, it is like shooting ducks in a barrel, as the odds are holiday drivers will have had a drink. Once the officer has probable cause or a reason to stop you, then if they smell alcohol they can investigate further.
Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols, must meet lawful and constitutional protocols to succeed. The idea behind a saturation patrol is that a large number of law enforcement officers will “make their presence known” by conducting stops, targeting inebriated, distracted, aggressive and speeding drivers, as well as those with seatbelt or cell phone violations….the whole nine yards of traffic violations.
Checkpoints don’t need probable cause to stop you. Normally an officer must have a reason to pull you over. At a sobriety checkpoint anybody can be stopped and requested to take a breath test. However, this does not mean that if you have failed a breath test or a sobriety test at a checkpoint, all your rights have been compromised. There are procedures and guidelines that all officers at a checkpoint must follow for a DUI test to be held valid.
After an arrest the District Attorney decides how to file the case and they often over file or over charge to gain leverage for a future plea. This makes it easier for the courtroom DA, to extract a plea to something. When arrested for a DUI two separate charges are automatically filed…. Driving under the influence and Driving with a blood level of .08 or higher. In the Indio court they file .07’s too and request jail time on all first offense DUI’s, unlike most courts in California.
Impaired drivers are not aware, unless they read my weekly legal column, that the Field Sobriety and Breath Test (FST) at the scene are optional. Few driver’s, let alone lawyers, know that 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 advised them not to talk without calling their lawyer for permission…(they won’t let you call). Then explain “they were advised Field Sobriety Tests and Breath Test at the scene are optional. If that is correct Mr. Officer, then I elect not to take them but I am happy to cooperate with law enforcement and take a blood test.”
Many believe with time the reading will decrease by the time the blood is drawn………..unless the driver just chugged a drink and the alcohol had not yet gotten into the blood system. The average driver is not aware that it takes about an hour for the alcohol to go into your blood stream and an hour to come out…………but now YOU DO!
Remember, Silence is Golden and Handcuffs are Silver so DON’T TALK to POLICE without your lawyer’s permission.
Though often referred to as a DUI criminal defense lawyer, I choose to not view my DUI clients as “criminals”. I prefer to view them, and more importantly to treat them, as good, honest people that have found themselves in a scary and unfortunate situation after screwing up.
I look upon my job as protecting the Constitutional Rights of every American who drinks and drives and gets arrested for a DUI.
I do however “Change Hats” when I SUE Drunk Drivers for damages to my Injured or Deceased (Wrongful Death) clients.
If you have any suggestions for future articles contact me 760-837-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE, CALL A TAXI, LYFT OR UBER………THEY ARE A LOT CHEAPER THAN CALLING ME … LAW ENFORCEMENT WARNS “DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER”
“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life 2011-2017 (DUI)
“TOP LAWYER” Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016
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