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Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey on drug and alcohol use among Americans in 60 cities, testing random motorists. Many of those Americans are furious over the methods that were used for the testing. Many motorists will be outraged to find that they were screened for DUI before they even consented to the test.

Broadly, the methods that are used in the survey, the National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, involve police stopping motorists at roadblocks. Motorists are ordered into the roadblock area without informing them about the purpose of this, and federal contractors working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ask them to participate in a drug and alcohol use survey. Motorists may be asked for their breath, saliva or blood samples, and maybe offered cash gifts of between $10 and $50 for body fluid samples.

The federal administration goes to great pains to insist that participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, and that drivers have the right to refuse to give samples if they don't want to participate. While drivers are not charged with DUI if those tests are found to be positive, many of them do find that these tests are intrusive, very invasive, and very often leave them feeling trapped in a roadblock.

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Posted on in DUI

If you are driving in the Martinez area over the next few weeks, expect more numbers of DUI checkpoints. The increase in checkpoints is part of a special targeted effort to increase enforcement action by the Martinez Police Department.

According to the Police Department, the increased DUI enforcement is part of a new campaign that is being funded by a traffic safety grant. The grant, which amounts to approximately $21,515, comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The money will be used to specifically to enforce DUI laws, and reduce the numbers of drunk drivers on our streets.

As part of the increased DUI enforcement action, residents of Martinez can now expect to come across more numbers of DUI checkpoints. The grant will be used in efforts to reduce the numbers of people being killed and alcohol-related accidents across markets. It will be used not just to increase enforcement action against DUI offenders, but also to implement awareness campaigns that educate people about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. The campaign will also include specially trained DUI officers.

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Tagged in: DUI checkpoints

Many people buy in to the stereotype that people who are arrested for DUI are alcoholics, party hounds or just plain "losers." In reality, people of all backgrounds and from walks of life get accused of drinking and driving. Drunk-driving arrests often lead to convictions, of course, but frequently enough they are based on spurious field sobriety tests, miscalibrated breath testing machines, the effects of legal prescription drugs or other mistakes.

Society may wish to believe that successful, responsible people are never charged with DUI, but they do. Last Saturday, for example, the man chosen by the Vatican to become the next archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco was arrested in San Diego on suspicion of drunk driving.

The 56-year-old bishop from Oakland was driving his elderly mother home after a dinner with friends when he encountered a police sobriety checkpoint. Officers at the checkpoint claim the bishop appeared to be intoxicated and they arrested him.

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This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekend. Law enforcement agencies all across the state are planning a variety of DUI enforcement efforts to mark the holiday. DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols are common events in California, regardless of whether or not a holiday is involved. But Californians can usually expect local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol to step-up DUI enforcement details when a recognizable holiday approaches.

Police agencies often use a variety of tactics during stepped-up enforcement operation surrounding a holiday weekend. Checkpoints and saturation patrols may not be the only strategies that police may seek to employ to enforce California DUI laws. A story from the Bay Area highlights the type of unique strategies an agency may use in an effort to find drunk drivers.

The San Francisco Police plan to send officers out on motorcycles Friday night to look for drunk drivers. A captain with the police department says that, "Our Harley Davidson Road Kings have a lot of maneuverability advantages over regular patrol cars." Police say that most motorists do not notice the bikes until it is too late. The police captain says officers on a Harley "can ride right up to the driver's window and check for any signs of alcohol or drug impairment."

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Tagged in: DUI DUI checkpoints

Many Santa Cruz area residents ventured out to ring in the New Year last weekend. For many, the New Year is a time for a new beginning. New Year's Day is also often the beginning day for new laws in California, and Santa Cruz DUI defense lawyers understand that several new provisions went into effect Jan. 1 that relate to driving under the influence in California.

A significant new provision has been sitting dormant for roughly 15 months. In Sept. 2010, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a measure that will now allow California judges to revoke a person's driver's license for 10-years if the driver has at least three DUI convictions on his or her record.

The new DUI license revocation provision includes a process for drivers to apply for potential reinstatement of their licenses after five years if certain conditions are met. One significant condition requires the driver to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car, which can be an expensive prospect after paying installation and monthly service fees.

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Law enforcement in California set up a number of DUI checkpoints over the Memorial Day holiday. Police say three people were arrested for DUI at a checkpoint that was set up over a four hour period Monday night in Salinas.

Police reportedly stopped a total of 652 vehicles during the checkpoint operation. Seven people were subjected to field sobriety tests, with three drivers arrested on suspicion of DUI. Law enforcement agencies set up a number of DUI checkpoints all over Monterey County and Santa Cruz County throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The DUI checkpoints often result in a variety of charges related to alleged motor vehicle code violations. During the Salinas DUI checkpoint operation, a 21-year-old man was stopped for alleged traffic violations. Police say the man has previously been deported twice. Law enforcement says the man has a felony record. Police say they contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and placed the 21-year-old on an immigration hold.

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California law allows for law enforcement to set up DUI checkpoints, if the operation satisfies certain constitutional safeguards. Santa Cruz drunk driving attorneys know the California Supreme Court provided guidance on the specific criteria for law enforcement to follow in setting up a checkpoint in a case called Ingersoll vs. Palmer.

On Monday, USA Today ran a story regarding smartphone applications that alert users of the applications to a variety of law enforcement operations, including DUI checkpoints. Four federal lawmakers raised their objection to the sale of the smartphone applications.

Four U.S. Senators sent a letter Tuesday to Apple, Google and Blackberry asking the companies to stop selling wireless telephone applications that allow users to identify the locations of sobriety checkpoints. One of the applications that the federal senators targeted is an application the "contains a database of DUI checkpoints updated in real time," according to the senator's letter. The senators also cited an application they say has more than 10 million users, which "allows users to alert each other to DUI checkpoints in real time."

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