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Local cities secure new funding for DUI checkpoints

A handful of local cities have secured state and national funding to thwart drunk driving through an expansion of the "DUI/driver's license checkpoint" program that establishes evening roadblocks where drivers are stopped and asked for identification and screened for signs of intoxication.

According to San Diego sheriff's Lt. Julius Faulkner, the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista were recently awarded a total of $307,076 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the California Office of Traffic Safety to continue the checkpoint program.

Opponents of the checkpoints (frequently DUI defense lawyers) have argued that the checkpoints could be considered unconstitutional and have in the past shown to be frequently less effective at curbing drunk driving than other enforcement methods.

Nonetheless, authorities are ready to put the new money to work — a news release from deputy Austyn Elmone Thursday afternoon (November 14) announced that a checkpoint will be erected at an undisclosed location in Poway on Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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Visduh Nov. 16, 2013 @ 9:12 a.m.

It seems that the number of DUI arrests coming out of these checkpoints is dropping. In one way, it might be claimed that they are ineffective. After all, why tie up a couple dozen cops for four or five hours, and yield only a handful of arrests out of hundreds of vehicles checked? On the other hand, it might be claimed that they are highly effective, in that they are getting so few drunks. In that scenario, those who might chance driving after drinking are deterred from doing so, lest they be nailed at a checkpoint and hauled off to jail. So, if fewer drinkers are driving, the threat of a checkpoint is working.

I find it interesting that DUI attorneys are opposing the checkpoints. The more DUI arrests there are, the more work there is for the attorneys. Maybe they really are working, and cutting into the business. They might be hurting the bar business around the county, too.


jnojr Nov. 17, 2013 @ 8:27 a.m.

Maybe the drunks are finding more ways to avoid the checkpoints?

We cannot get around the basic fact that these checkpoints are completely unAmerican. "But we catch some drunks,a nd that's good!" cannot be used as a justification without opening the door to MORE checkpoints. Why not occasional door-to-door searches for wanted felons, contraband, evidence of possible crimes, etc? After all, you don't have anything to hide, do you?

Instead of sitting there and stopping people with no reasonable suspicion other than it's "their turn", how about having those cops actively patrolling, looking for people who actually appear to be driving under the influence (and other crimes).


JustWondering Nov. 16, 2013 @ 1:11 p.m.

Attorneys always argue probable cause (PC) issue of the arrest. If you can undermine the PC for the arrest the case will be dismissed. There is no PC in a checkpoint, just random stops based on a set formula for the night. Hard to claim we can beat the rap in those instances.

Personally I am opposed to these checkpoints as they are another vivid example of our eroding rights under the Fourth Amendment Right of Search and Seizure.


CaptainObvious Nov. 17, 2013 @ 12:35 a.m.

Drunk driving is attempted murder. There should be draconian penalties for repeat offenses,


jnojr Nov. 17, 2013 @ 8:30 a.m.

There should be "Draconian penalties" for ALL repeat offenders who actually injure others. Theft, battery, any crime where you hurt people or deprive them of their rights or property. First offense, we try to rehabilitate you. Second, we just lock you up for 20 years. Third, we throw the key away. Period. No "But it was only a piece of pizza!" I don't care, this is someone who CANNOT STOP COMMITTING CRIMES.


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