• News Ticker alerts

California's state auditor is out with a report comparing the operation of sobriety checkpoints by law enforcment agencies in five California jurisdictions, including that of San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

"No federal or state statutes or regulations exist governing the operation of checkpoints," the audit notes, and the review turned up some interesting information.

According to the report, released yesterday by state auditor Elaine Howle, "statistics show that checkpoints more often result in citations for unlicensed motorists or for those with suspended or revoked driver’s licenses than for alcohol-related offenses."

In addition, the auditors discovered that the checkpoints can prove to be lucrative for local government.

"Our review of documentation from five checkpoints found that law enforcement agencies charge different amounts for releasing towed vehicles to the registered owners or their designated agents.

"In addition to charging vehicle release fees, some police departments or cities we reviewed receive other revenue from vehicles impounded at checkpoints.

"For example, the Los Angeles Police Department collects 7 percent of all gross revenue earned by tow contractors for police-related tows."

Based on the audit's findings, of the five jurisdictions surveyed, San Diego charged the least to release a towed vehicle, $58. Fresno was highest at $294, with Oakland close behind at $250. Folsom police charged $150 and L.A. cops $100.

(According to the report, the Fresno Police Department "adds an additional $110 to its vehicle release fee for alcohol-related offenses and for citations to unlicensed motorists and those with suspended/revoked licenses.")

The auditor notes that the release fees charged by the agencies surveyed are "separate from additional towing and storage fees tow companies may charge motorists."

949 cars passed through the San Diego checkpoint on a Saturday night between 8 pm and 3 the next morning, the auditors found.

Of the 15 citations issued, none were for drunk driving, eight were for unlicensed vehicles, two were for suspended or revoked drivers licenses, and the remaining five were listed as miscellaneous.

There were seven tows, with total potential revenue of $406. Potential citation revenue ranged from $500 to $12,000, according to the audit.

On the other hand, in Fresno, where just 348 cars passed through a Saturday checkpoint between 6 pm and 4 am, there were 33 citations.

Five were for drunk driving, 15 for unlicensed vehicles, 12 for suspended or revoked drivers licenses, and one was classified as miscellaneous.

Total Fresno tows were 26, with potential revenue of $7,534. Potential citation revenue ranged from $4,125 to $44,000.

  • News Ticker alerts

Comments

SurfPuppy619 Feb. 17, 2012 @ 6 p.m.

"Our review of documentation from five checkpoints found that law enforcement agencies charge different amounts for releasing towed vehicles to the registered owners or their designated agents.

"In addition to charging vehicle release fees, some police departments or cities we reviewed receive other revenue from vehicles impounded at checkpoints.

"For example, the Los Angeles Police Department collects 7 percent of all gross revenue earned by tow contractors for police-related tows." == This is a major scam by government against the poor should be banned.

This is the exact same scam Fatty Rizzo was pulling in Bell. Scam Central.

0

Ponzi Feb. 17, 2012 @ 10:29 p.m.

Checkpoints that check anything other than the sobriety of the driver violate the Supreme Court decision that permits sobriety checkpoints. It is unlawful to ask a driver for any documents, the only legal checkpoint checks for sobriety of the motor vehicle operator.

Sitting around with the MADD blue-hairs and drinking hot cocoa and doughnuts and violating the law by asking for documents is a waste of resources that would be better put to use if the police patrolled their beats.

0

HarryFrank Feb. 18, 2012 @ 5:44 p.m.

Ponzi, what the heck are you smoking? There is plenty of case law that supports the checking of driver's licenses at checkpoints. Get your facts right! In addition, don't you think that perhaps someone would have filed a lawsuit if they were in fact illegal.

0

HarryFrank Feb. 18, 2012 @ 5:47 p.m.

Hey surfpup, are you saying that only rich drunks should get arrested for DUI at a checkpoint. Cmon man check yourself.

0

SurfPuppy619 Feb. 20, 2012 @ 8:46 a.m.

Hey surfpup, are you saying that only rich drunks should get arrested for DUI at a checkpoint. Cmon man check yourself. == No, I am saying these check point scams are only aimed at the poor and middle class.

When was the last time we had a DUI checkpoint in Del Mar or Fairbanks Ranch???? Never, that's when.

Come on dude-at least challenge me-if only a little..........

0

RolandSlinger Feb. 20, 2012 @ 7:39 a.m.

Actually HarryFrank, many of these checkpoints are proven to be illegal. There is a lot of ordinances and policy put in place to assure that the police aren't getting the upper hand over civilians. Everything from the amount of feet between spacing between signs, to the legality of doing a field sobriety test to a suspect in sandals. It HAS been overturned many times in court because these checkpoints HAVE been illegal. This issue is it's not proven until after the fact when the defendant has to spend thousands of dollars on lawyers, which again, a poor person cannot afford. The usual lower to middle class person usually ends up biting the bullet and paying fines and having something that can be easily proven an injustice on their record for years.

0

Sign in to comment