DUI Checkpoint Bill Passes in Assembly

Santa Barbara DUI Attorney Reports on DUI Bill Passing in California Assembly

The Petaluma Patch reports the  bill sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, AB 1389 to deal with a criticism of DUI checkpoints, which immigrant groups say often result in more citations of undocumented Latino drivers, who are prevented by law from obtaining licenses, than drunk drivers passed in the California Assembly Friday morning.

AB 1389 would allow unlicensed drivers to call someone to pick up their cars instead of getting them impounded for up to 30 days, as is now common practice, the law would allow drivers to park their vehicles in a safe place and then call a family member or a friend to retrieve it.

Critics have said the proposed legislation is ridiculous, because it forces law enforcement to act like “uniformed valets” in the words of Dan Fox, a traffic safety resource prosecutor for the California District Attorneys Association. The Patch reports in 2010, out of 506 cars pulled of the road in Petaluma during DUI checkpoints, only 25 resulted in DUI arrests. Meanwhile, 117 people were issued citations for driving without a license. Numbers for the first part of 2011 and all of 2009, paint the same picture.In a blog posted here the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported in 2009, police impounded more than 24,000 vehicles at checkpoints, roughly seven times more than the 3,200drunken drivingarrests they made at roadway operations, according to the bill.

Immigrant rights advocates say once people are cited and are forced to appear before a judge, they risk being deported for being in the country illegally. Another aspect of Allen’s bill would require police to notify the public of the general area of the DUI checkpoint, information that is now strictly guarded. The bill now heads to the Senate.

What do you think of the DUI checkpoints?

If you are facing a Santa Barbara DUI/checkpoint arrestcontact Kenneth M. Hallum. Know your rights, options, and defenses.

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