The San Rafael Police Department has announced that the Marin County Avoid the 13 DUI Task Force will be working overtime to prevent drunk driving on city streets throughout the county on May 5, Cinco de Mayo. At the same the California Highway Patrol will be conducting a DUI saturation on local freeways and in the unincorporated areas of Marin.
The Marin Avoid the 13 is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
DUI enforcement officers will be looking for signs of a drunk driving in order to effect a traffic stop and will conduct tests on suspected impaired drivers. Police officers will arrest those drivers whom they believe have had too much to drink.
The National Highway Safety Administration has approved a three test battery of standardized field sobriety tests for DUI investigations. Those three tests, horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the one leg stand, and the walk and turn test have been scientifically validated. However, CHP officers and local Marin County police officers often give additional non validated field sobriety tests to DUI suspects. Those non validated tests include the Rhomberg test, finger count, hand pat and the alphabet.
Drivers in California are under no obligation to submit to field sobriety testing. However, drivers under twenty-one years of age and drivers on probation for DUI, must submit to a preliminary alcohol screening device (PAS) if requested to do so. Further, all California drivers have given their implied consent to submit to chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol level if arrested for driving under the influence. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can enhance punishment if convicted of drunk driving and can result in a driver’s license revocation for one year on a first offense.