By Dale Gribow
All readers of The Coachella Valley Weekly should remember that a Driver’s License is a Privilege and not a right. With privileges come responsibilities and the need to follow the driving laws as set forth in the California Vehicle Code.
The Desert Sun on Sunday May 12, 2013 reported on the results of the DUI Checkpoints from Saturday night. They not only look for Drivers who are Driving Under the Influence but in addition Driver’s with a Suspended License, Drivers without Insurance, Drivers with No License and Drivers with Outstanding Bench Warrants.
A driver’s license can be taken away for too many tickets in a set period of time and even for not paying support as ordered by the family law court. When we take our driving test we learned the rules regarding DMV Tickets but many of us forgot them 30 minutes later. Almost all moving violations are 1 point, a DUI and Hit and Run are 2 points and an at fault accident is 2 points:
In California Driving Points are allowed as follows:
4 Points are allowed in a 1 year period
6 Points are allowed in a 2 year period
8 Points are allowed in a 3 year period
The Indio court will only accept Traffic School to remove the citation AFTER THE TRIAL if the officer does not object. Otherwise Traffic School is available before a trial.
Most drivers think it is safe to drive because they have not had any or too much alcohol. They forget their outstanding speeding ticket that became a bench warrant when they forgot to pay it. In addition many drivers forget to notify DMV of their new address and thus they do not receive notification from DMV of their excessive points which resulted in their license being unknowingly suspended. We have all heard that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Thus the officer can arrest the driver at the scene for violating a California law.
When a driver appears before a judge on a DUI the judge may suspend the driver’s license. When a judge does so he means it! He tells the defendant driver “when you leave the courtroom “Do Not Drive without a valid license” Over the last 30 years I have seen “stings where the bailiff or undercover officer follows the defendant to the parking lot and or notifies a nearby patrol officer. When the defendant is observed getting into a car to drive away, the court officer or police officer arrests the driver for “Driving on a Suspended License” or they notify the police officer to stop and arrest the defendant. Driving on a Suspended license can carry a sentence of 10 days in jail AND in addition, if it is a Probation Violation of any past or new court imposed sentence there is a new criminal case for a Violation of Probation.
Of course the car that was driven will probably be impounded for 30 days. The registered owner (not necessarily the driver) within 10 days can request a Hearing at the police department to release the auto. However if the request is denied it costs about $1500 to get the car back and to pay off the storage fees. Of course there are also court fines for the violation of driving on a suspended license. This program is funded by the Office of Traffic Safety which is the same grant that allowed the city to hire two new officers.
Usually the driver is cited and released however the driver can be placed in custody in addition to their car being towed away. If they already had their license suspended BEFORE their court date it is arguably even a stronger and more serious matter. The driver is often brought before the same judge that just suspended their license within the hour.
If you have any questions or idea for future columns please contact Dale Gribow at our NEW number 760 837 7500 or our new email of