ARE ST. PATRICKS DAY DUI CHECKPOINTS LEGAL?

With some California Counties changing Tier colors this week, we can expect more St Patrick’s Day partying and alcohol consumption. As covid restrictions ease a tad, DUI arrests will rise. In other words they are inversely proportional, as one goes down the other goes up.

DUI sobriety checkpoints are legal and not a 4th Amendment illegal search and seizure violation… if they comply with all the regulatory rules. Turning onto a side street or turning around before passing through a checkpoint is generally not against the law. Turning around should not, in and of itself, give the police a reasonable suspicion to make a DUI stop. However, the officer may be able to stop you if he observes any driving that would be sufficient for reasonable suspicion. Thus, slow or erratic driving, straddling the line or making an illegal turn could attract the officer’s attention, and he then could stop your car.

Did you encounter a St Patrick’s Day DUI Checkpoint? To address all holiday drinking, Checkpoints are implemented to meet the increased number of people who will be drinking and driving…..A word of advice, Use a Taxi, Uber or Lyft. They are a lot cheaper than having to call me the next morning.

Checkpoints: What You Need To Know!

  1. Sobriety checkpoints are a technique by which law enforcement officials evaluate drivers for signs of alcohol or drug impairment at specific points on the roadway.
  2. Vehicles are stopped in a specific sequence. The average stop time is about the length of a cycle at a stoplight.
  3. Checkpoints are typically publicized in advance…SO LOOK BEFORE EVERY HOLIDAY!
  4. The primary goal of a sobriety checkpoint is not to arrest people, but rather to deter people from committing a DUI. The publicity from checkpoints reminds people who drink that drinking and driving don’t mix.
  5. Sobriety checkpoints help stop drunk drivers who would likely remain under the radar.
  6. Checkpoints reduce drunk driving crashes and fatalities by 20% on average.
  7. Research shows that for every dollar invested in checkpoints, communities save between $6 and $23 in costs from alcohol-related crashes.
  8. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes to society is over $100 billion.
  9. Research shows that checkpoints, if done correctly, can be effective with as few as three to five officers.

In the Coachella Valley, few realize we have more DUI FATALITIES…per capita, than anywhere else in California. That makes DUI Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols essential to save lives……the drivers and ours. A saturation patrol is a large number of law enforcement officers making 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.


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