No DUI arrests in sobriety checkpoint

FILE PHOTO. The California Highway Patrol runs a sobriety checkpoint on the Old Road near Constitution Avenue in Stevenson Ranch on Friday, August 18, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Not a single motorist was arrested for impaired driving during Friday’s DUI checkpoint carried out by the California Highway Patrol, despite 400 drivers stopped.

“During our recent DUI Checkpoint on The Old Road at Constitution Avenue, officers contacted almost 400 individual vehicles and issued 2 misdemeanor citations for driving without a license,” CHP Officer Eric Priessman said Monday.

“There were no arrests made for DUI during this checkpoint, possibly as a result of CHP education that driving under the influence is never a good idea,” he said.

CHP officers conducted the sobriety check between 6:30 p.m. Friday and last until 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Motorists approaching the checkpoint were notified in advance that they could expect to see informational signs advising them of a sobriety checkpoint ahead.

Once diverted into the lane, they were expected to be detained only momentarily while an officer explains the purpose of the checkpoint, according to CHP Officer Josh Greengard, who announced the checkpoint in a news release issued Wednesday.

The goal of the DUI checkpoint, he wrote in the release, was to create awareness among the motoring public, to deter people from driving under the influence, and to keep the streets safe for all.  

Although checkpoints tend to reduce the number of drinking drivers on the road, the CHP officers plan on apprehending DUI drivers who fail to heed warnings.  

Even though arrest totals do not rise dramatically, the psychological influence a checkpoint has on the motoring public is invaluable, the release said.

Sobriety checkpoints are carried out in accordance to the guidelines for checkpoint operations outlined in the Supreme Court decision, Ingersol vs. Palmer.  

CHP officers warned in advance of the operation that, traffic volume permitting, all vehicles would be checked. If traffic volume became too heavy, vehicles to be checked would be selected by a pre-set standard, such as every fifth or 10th vehicle, in order to assure objectivity, Greengard wrote.

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