Why do I say Coachella is here…..Beware? Isn’t Coachella supposed to be fun for everyone? Because of the expected crowds there is a greater chance for Accidents and DUI’S. Of course with Coachella you also have to expect many Drug arrests. Beware because most people do not realize that though it is legal to smoke MJ at home, it is not legal to smoke in public. So don’t get caught smoking at the concert, get arrested, miss the concert and worse yet spend the weekend in jail.

Coachella Concerts brings 500,000 visitors to the desert. Thus there are more people and more cars on the roads and a greater chance for an Injury Accident and DUI. During Coachella you also have to expect many Drug arrests. The police, in an attempt to control the crowds and keep accidents and DUI’s down, will respond with legal checkpoints and saturation patrols with more officers on the streets. There will also be many undercover officers from ABC (Alcohol and Beverage Control) checking ID’s for age and legality

Almost every stop will get a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These checkpoints are legal, as long as the police follow certain protocols. Everyone questions 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 can’t.

Drunk Drivers hit the road at night before and after concerts. 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 (FST) 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 field sobriety tests. In addition 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 their attorney is Dale Gribow and he advised them not to talk without calling him for permission. Explain “they have been advised Field Sobriety Tests and the Breath Test, at the scene, are optional. If that is correct Officer, then I elect not to take them. State 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, 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.

With an increase in arrests, drivers will spend more time in holding cells before release and no one wants to be in custody and miss the festival. Normally a driver is held for 4 or more hours; the higher the DUI reading, the longer one’s time in custody.

However during a concert weekend the increase in arrests congests the system and slows down the process. If arrested on a Friday you might not go before the judge until Monday or Tuesday … if not released OR have posted bail.

If you have any ideas for future columns contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500/dale@dalegribowlaw.com.



“TOP LAWYER” – Palm Springs Life (DUI/PI) 2011-2017

“TOP LAWYER” Inland Empire Magazine Nov 2016

AVVO Perfect 10.0 Peer Rating