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what to expect at dui checkpoint

DUI Checkpoints Aren’t That Bad

what to expect at dui checkpoint

Any driver who has encountered a DUI checkpoint before is probably aware of how slow they can be. Law enforcement officers set up on a stretch of road in order to stop and talk to every driver they encounter. This, naturally, slows down traffic and can make people late. This has the unfortunate side effect of causing people to hate DUI checkpoints.

DUI checkpoints can be tedious to get through as a driver awaits their turn to be interviewed by an officer. What some drivers are not aware of, is that they are legally to avoid DUI checkpoints, provided they don’t break any road laws in order to do so. This is a right granted to all citizens by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches, or searches of a person’s property without their consent. Therefore, a person is allowed to avoid a DUI checkpoint if they want to. This is also why law enforcement agencies have to post notices about the checkpoint before it occurs, thereby allowing people to opt-out of the checkpoint by driving a different route.

While DUI checkpoints can be annoying for people who have not been drinking, they do help keep roads safe. They locate drunk drivers and remove them from the road. This keeps everyone else safe, which makes the occasional slow down worth it.

The Real Cost of a DUI Charge

how much does a dui cost

Most people out there recognize the fact that driving while drunk is a very bad idea. While a person is drunk, their mind isn’t what it normally is, meaning they are more likely to make costly mistakes. This is why it is illegal to drive while drunk all over the country.

Here in California, the penalties for committing DUI include:

  • Some form of probation.
  • Up to one year in county jail.
  • Fines up to $1,000.
  • Suspended or revoked driver’s license.
  • Needing to attend DUI school.
  • Paying possible restitution’s.

These all seem like pretty bad penalties to deal with for most people. However, it is not scary enough for some people considering they still decide to drive drunk. What these people realize is that the cost of the DUI is a lot more expensive than just a $1,000 fine. There are all sorts of costs to consider, including:

  • Towing and storage fees for the vehicle roughly $650.
  • DUI classes cost money, roughly $650.
  • Attorney fees cost a couple thousand dollars.
  • Driver’s license reinstatement costs $100.
  • Insurance rate hikes, can average around $40,000 over 13 years.
  • Restitution’s for anyone who was hurt can cost several thousands.

Even a single DUI offense can be incredibly expensive. This is just another reason why a person should never drink and drive.

dui checkpoint new years eve

What to Expect at DUI Checkpoints This New Year’s Eve

dui checkpoint new years eve

New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the biggest party nights of the year. Everyone is staying up late waiting to ring the New Year in with flair. All of this partying has a tendency to lead to a lot of drinking. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of people drinking and driving. In order to prevent accidents, many law enforcement agencies will setup DUI checkpoints.

DUI checkpoints may look intimidating, but they are nothing to worry about. After all, they are there to help keep the roads safe for everyone. So long as the person who is driving has not been drinking, they have nothing to worry about.

When a person drives up to a DUI checkpoint, they will likely be instructed to wait until an officer is available to talk to them. Once an officer is ready, they will wave the car forward. From there, the officer will ask the driver a few questions:

  • Where are you coming from?
  • Where are you going?
  • Have you been drinking?

The officer will also ask to see driver’s license and registration.

As long as there are no signs that the driver has been drinking, or consuming marijuana, then the officer will allow the driver to continue to their destination.

If the officer suspects that the driver has consumed alcohol, then the driver will be asked to pull over to the side where another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, then they could be ticketed, fined, and will likely have to wait for someone to come pick them up.

The whole point of DUI checkpoints is to keep drunk drivers off of the road. They increase in frequency around holidays that involve a lot of partying. That is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise if a driver finds themselves at a DUI checkpoint this New Year’s Eve.

dui laws in california

It Is Never Okay to Drink and Drive

dui laws in california

If you were to ask anyone if driving while drunk was a safe thing to do, they would tell you it is a very dangerous thing to do. In 2017, 29% of all driving fatalities were caused by drunk drivers. This amounted to nearly 11,000 deaths that could have easily been prevented. With all the advances in technology, getting a safe ride home has never been easier. There is never a reason to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk.

Drunk driving is illegal in every single state in the US due to how dangerous it is. Getting caught while driving under the influence carries heavy penalties, especially for repeat offenders. The laws and penalties vary by state. Here in California, the state has several different laws surrounding the act of driving under the influence (DUI).

Penalties of DUI

All California laws surrounding DUI basically state that a person should never get behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. What changes through these various laws is the exact circumstances. If a person is simply caught driving while intoxicated, they will face consequences under Vehicle Code (VC) 23152. If they cause injury to someone else, then they will face charges under VC 23153.
A person can even get into trouble for refusing to provide a breath or blood sample to an officer during a traffic stop. This can be charged under VC 23612.

The penalties for committing DUI vary depending on the crime itself and the driving record of the driver in question. The typical consequences for DUI can include:

  • Informal probation.
  • Max 6 month jail sentence for first offense/ Max 1 year for repeat offenders.
  • Base fines of $390 to $1,000.
  • Suspended or revoked driver’s license.
  • DUI school.
  • Community service.
  • Requirement to attend AA meetings.
  • Vehicle being impounded.
  • Instillation of breathalyzer ignition device on vehicle.
  • Victim restitution’s if someone was hurt.

Generally, DUI’s are misdemeanor offenses, unless:

  • Someone was seriously hurt.
  • Someone was killed.
  • This is the driver’s fourth DUI in a 10 year period.
  • This is the driver’s third DUI that harmed someone in a 10 year period.
  • The driver has a prior felony DUI in a 10 year period.

Felony DUI convictions can come with the already mentioned penalties, as well as these increased penalties:

  • Formal probation.
  • Prison sentences, which vary from case to case.
  • Base fines between $390 and $5,000.

DUI for Professional Drivers

The fact that DUI laws apply to all drivers is a given. However, what some people may not know is that this law applies differently to drivers who are for-hire. A for-hire driver being someone who drives a vehicle such as a taxi, bus, Lyft, or Uber.

Normally, drivers are only considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%. However, for-hire drivers are only allowed to have a BAC of 0.04%. If a for-hire driver is caught driving with that level of BAC or hire, they will face DUI charges, which would likely mean a suspension of their driver’s license.

The Dangers of Hungover Driving

Something else that many drivers are not aware of is the fact that driving while hungover can be just as bad as driving while drunk. This fact was discovered by researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Participants of the study had 10 drinks, slept off the alcohol until their BAC was 0%.

The results showed that the drivers were roughly as impaired, if not more so, than a driver with a BAC of 0.05%. The drivers were more prone to speeding, struggled to drive straight, and just generally made more errors.

This is likely due to the results of being dehydrated, having low blood sugar, and not getting enough sleep the night before.

There Is No Reason to Drive Drunk

Driving while intoxicated is never a good idea. Not only is it against the law, it is incredibly dangerous. Drunk driving is the cause of thousands of accidents and deaths every single year in the US alone.

In today’s modern age, there is no reason for any of this. With smartphones, people now have the ability get a safe ride literally in the palm of their hand. A person can easily contact a loved one to come pick them up, or hire a driver of a taxi, Lyft, or Uber. Doing this has never been easier than it is right now. A person can easily save themselves and the lives of people they’ve never met by simply pulling out their phone before ever setting foot in a vehicle.

consequences for driving under the influence

Will You Be Seeing More DUI Checkpoints This Holiday Season?

consequences for driving under the influence

Whenever certain holidays roll around, you can bet that there will be an increase in DUI Checkpoints. This is often due to the fact that more people tend to drink and drive around those specific holidays. Law enforcement agencies know this, and use these checkpoints as a way to curb any drunk driving.

Unfortunately, Christmas is one such holiday that leads to an increase in drinking and driving. People are out partying, or simply spending time with in-laws they don’t get along with. This usually leads to drinking, which eventually leads to driving once people need to go home.

Today, with all of the technology at our disposal, there is no excuse for drunk driving. A person can easily access a ride through their smart phone. All they have to do is call a taxi, Lyft, or Uber to come pick them up and take them home. If they do that, then they never have to worry about DUI checkpoints.

When it comes to passing DUI checkpoints, a person has nothing to worry about unless they have drinking and are currently driving. When a person gets to a checkpoint, they will likely have to wait for their turn to roll through. When it is their turn, an officer will wave them forward. The officer will proceed to ask for the driver’s license and registration and ask the following questions:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where did you come from?
  • Have you been drinking?

So long as the officer doesn’t suspect that the driver has been drinking, they will allow the vehicle to proceed. However, if the officer does suspect that the driver has been drinking, they will ask the car to pull over to the side. There, another officer will conduct a field sobriety test. If the driver fails that, then he or she will likely be ticketed and have to wait for someone to come pick them up.

DUI checkpoints may seem intimidating, but they are nothing to worry about. So long as a person is responsible and has a designated driver driving them, they can drink to their hearts content.

halloween dui checkpoints

Drink Responsibly on Halloween

halloween dui checkpoints

Summer came and went and we are now headed into fall. This means that Halloween is almost here! For kids, this means trick-or-treating to get as much candy as they can possibly carry. For adults, it means going out to parties to have a good time. If there is alcohol at these parties, than a person needs to drink responsibly.

Around most holidays where drinking is involved, people are bound to see an increase in DUI checkpoints around town. This is due to the fact that officers know that people will be drinking more and therefore they will put more effort into keeping those who have consumed alcohol off of the road.

A similar thing happens around holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor. However, it is infinitely more important on Halloween. On this particular holiday, kids are out roaming the dark streets in search of candy. In this instance, a drunk driver is far more likely to hit a child, or group of kids. That is something that no one wants to deal with.

DUI checkpoints may seem intimidating, but they are nothing to worry about. A driver just needs to wait for an officer to wave them forward, answer a few quick questions, and so long as the officer doesn’t suspect that the driver has been drinking, they will be cleared to proceed on to their destination.

If you are planning on going out and drinking for Halloween, be sure to do so responsibly. This means having a designated driver, or using some sort of rideshare service such as a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Doing this will not only keep you safe from getting a ticket or in an accident, it will also help keep trick-or-treaters safe as well.

open container laws california

Surprising Ways Booze and Cars Don’t Mix

open container laws california

It’s a well-known fact that you’re not allowed to drive your car when you’re drunk, but there are a few laws that some people don’t know that prove booze and cars don’t mix.

No Open Containers in the Car. Period!

Even if you haven’t had a sip of booze, if there is an open container in the vehicle with you and you get pulled over, you’ll find yourself in deep legal trouble. The Liquor Licence Act prohibits any alcohol in the front seat at all. The only exception to this is if you’re driving a pickup truck that lacks a backseat or indoor cargo area, or lock box. It doesn’t matter if the container is sealed or not, it can’t be within reach of the driver.

It’s worth noting, that it’s never legal to drive with a container that contains booze and is unsealed. So, if you’re returning cans and bottles, make sure each one is completely empty before you load up your car.

Booze at Tailgate Parties isn’t Legal

Everyone loves a good tailgate part, but you should know that the case of beer you plan on splitting with your buddies, you’re breaking the law. The law states that the only places you can legally consume alcohol is while on a private property or at a public place that has a liquor license. While the stadium does have a liquor license, it doesn’t extend to the parking lot.

You should also know that you’re not legally allowed to buy a six pack or bottle of wine and drink it in the grocery store parking lot. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in your car or on the side walk, the cop who spots you can arrest you.

Getting Into Your Car Could Result in a DUI

Climbing into your car to sleep for a few hours after you’ve had a little too much to drink might seem like a perfectly good idea to you, but if the key is in your pocket (or anywhere else on you or in the car) you’ll get charged with a DUI. The cop and prosecutor will state that you intended to drive (even if you didn’t.) If you decide to sleep it off in your car, it’s in your best interest to give your key to a friend or find a secure hiding place that’s far from your vehicle. Once you’re inside the car, you can lock yourself in and take a nice long nap. When you’ve sobered up, fetch the key, and drive home.

The One Exception

The only exception to drinking while in a motorized vehicle is motor homes. You still can’t operate one while driving, but as long as it’s parked in someplace like an RV park, you can sit inside of it (but not in the driver’s seat) and enjoy a nightcap.

dui checkpoints fourth of july

DUI Checkpoints and Independence Day

dui checkpoints fourth of july

Whenever certain holidays roll around, you can bet that you will start to see more DUI checkpoints. This is due to the fact that more people drink alcohol around these holidays, and then proceed to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Police officers know this, and do everything in their power to curb this problem, literally.

DUI checkpoints are not something to be afraid. Police officers pick a certain section of road to setup a checkpoint at, and the selection is posted in advance to give everyone fair warning. At the checkpoint, officers will stop traffic in order to talk to each individual driver who passes through.

The officers will ask to see your license and registration, as well as simple questions, such as:

  • Where are you going?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • Have you been drinking?

After that, so long as the officer doesn’t suspect that you are under the influence, he or she will let you go. However, if the officer does suspect DUI, you will be asked to pullover to the curb.

Once you have pulled over, another officer will begin talking to you in order to determine if you are indeed under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The officer may even issue a field sobriety test. If it is determined that you are under the influence, you will be arrested or held until someone can come to pick you up.

Getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk is never a good idea. It puts so many people at risk, and yet hundreds of people do it all of the time. This gets even worse around holidays like the Fourth of July, which is why you will see an increase in DUI checkpoints. If you plan on going to a party this Independence Day and having a few drinks, also plan on having a designated driver to keep everyone safe and out of jail.