The Marin County implementation of the statewide ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ anti drunk driving campaign, which began August 17, 2012 and runs to Sept. 3, 2012 will be out in force tonight. Police officers have canceled a DUI checkpoint planed for Mill Valley to instead focus on roving DUI patrols including officers from all 13 Marin County law enforcement agencies.
The saturation DUI patrols are part of statewide effort to crack down on drunk driving through the Labor Day weekend. The campaign began in Marin with a DUI checkpoint in San Rafael on August 17, 2012. Although many in law enforcement believe checkpoints are affective at catching drunk drivers the San Rafael checkpoint did not result in any arrests for drunken driving.
Checkpoints don’t often catch drunk drivers but they may result in getting drunks off of the roads. The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign has been highly publicized and according to the Police it helps to reduce alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
Officers in Marin are planning one final DUI checkpoint during the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign. It will be held at a yet to be determined location in San Anselmo on Friday, August 31, 2012.
DUI checkpoints have been held to be constitutionally permissible by our courts provided that they comply with certain requirements. In California for a checkpoint to be legal in must follow factors laid out in the case of Ingersoll v. Palmer (1987) 43 Cal.3d 1321. The factors laid out in Ingersoll include:
1. Decision Making at the Supervisory Level
2. Limits of Discretion of Field Officers
3. Maintenance of Safety Conditions
4. Reasonable Location
5. Time and Duration
6. Indicia of Official Nature of Roadblock
7. Length and Nature of Detention
8. Advance Publicity
If those eight factors were not followed a DUI stop at a checkpoint may be challenged in court as being an illegal violation of a driver’s rights against unreasonable search and seizure under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.