Articles Posted in Ignition Interlock Device

in courthouses throughout California police agencies are conducting stings where they watch people who’s licenses have been suspended drive away from court. In Murrieta, Riverside County, six people who were not supposed to be driving due to pending DUI cases were cited last week.

The Murrieta Police Department’s went under cover at the Riverside County Southwest Justice Center and staked out offenders who had been told by a judge not to drive. Police officers stopped ten drivers that they followed from courtrooms. Of those drivers, four were in compliance with the law as they had made arrangements for alternate means of transportation. However, six people were stopped and cited for allegedly driving on a suspended license, and some of those people’s vehicles were impounded.

Anyone caught and convicted of driving on a suspended license as a result of a DUI conviction faces an additional sentence of probation, possible jail time, fines and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own or operate.
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Thirty year old Clinton Hornsby of Novato was arrested last Sunday night after failing to stop at an intersection near Penngrove in Sonoma County. A CHP officer stopped Mr. Hornsby just after 9:00 p.m. after observing the stop sign violation.

After contacting Mr. Hornsby the CHP officer believed he was under the influence and conducted a DUI investigation including field sobriety tests. After concluding his investigation the officer arrested Mr. Hornsby for driving under the influence and a violation of probation. He has suffered two prior DUI convictions.

A third offense DUI carries a minimum of 120 days in county jail, a driver’s license revocation for three years and mandatory attendance at an eighteen month long DUI program. A third time offender may apply for a restricted driving privilege after six months provided they install and ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own or operate.
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The CHP will have up to 80 percent of all available uniformed officers out in force for their maximum DUI enforcement period over the upcoming New Year’s holiday weekend.

In Solano County police officers with the Avoid the Solano 10 campaign will be targeting the “Worst of the Worst” DUI offenders and drivers who disobey court or Department of Motor Vehicles orders not to drive without a valid license. Officers will be going to court to monitor defendants as they leave the Solano County Superior Courthouse to make sure they do not drive without a valid license. Anyone caught driving without a valid license will face additional criminal charges, a possible violation of probation, fines, and possible jail time.

Driving with a license that has been suspended due to a DUI arrest is a misdemeanor carrying a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a $1,000.00 fine. Punishment increases for multiple offenders and anyone convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code section 14601.2 will be required by the DMV to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own or operate.
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On November 24, 2010, Santa Rosa Police Officers using grant funds provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, conducted a courthouse sting aimed at DUI drivers and drivers with suspended licenses or no driver license. The sting resulted in officers arresting four people for driver’s license related offenses.

The operation of the sting consisted of Police officers waiting and watching defendants, who had been ordered by the court not to drive due to suspended or revoked driving privileges, to see if they would get into cars and drive away from the courthouse. In all, officers followed ten such people out of court. Four of those ten people got into their cars and drove away from the Sonoma County Courthouse and were stopped by waiting police officers.

Driving on a suspended or revoked license can carry serious consequences if convicted. California Vehicle Code section 14601 et sec, details the various charges and punishments for driving on a suspension. Those punishments vary depending on the reason for the suspension. If a driver license is suspended for being a negligent operator or failing to appear in court a person may receive a reduced charge if they can get their driver license reinstated but they could be placed on probation and pay large fines if convicted. Drivers who lose their driver license due to driving under influence conviction face a minimum fine of $1,000.00, ten days in jail, and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device if convicted of a violation of Vehicle Code section 14601.2 for driving while suspended.
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The Oakland Police Department announced this week that they have received a grant ffrom the California Office of Traffic Safety that will fund their pursuit of drunk drivers for the next year. Oakland police Lt. Sharon Williams said that the yearlong anti-DUI program received a grant of $240,000.

The Oakland Police will be using their new DUI funds to conduct driver’s license and drunk driving checkpoints, DUI warrant sweeps and driving under the influence saturation patrols during periods of high incidence drunken driving. Police Officers will also be conducing court stings, where they will follow DUI drivers with suspended licenses out of the courtroom and stop them if they are seen driving away from the courthouse.

In California a first offense DUI is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Further, a first time convicted drunk driver will have to attend a DUI program varying in length from three to nine months and may have their driving privilege suspended for 6 months or restricted for up to ten months depending on their blood alcohol level.

Also, Alameda County is one of four pilot counties in California that require the installation of an ignition interlock device for all DUI convictions including first offenses.
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Holiday drivers in Marin County, San Francisco, Oakland and throughout California should really think when they drink this weekend. The CHP will be conducting their last MEP, Maximum Enforcement Period, of the summer this Labor Day weekend.

The Highway Patrol will be rolling in force beginning Friday, September 3, 2010 and ending Monday, September 6, 2010, as part of their ongoing aggressive crackdown on impaired driving which began on August 20. Last year the CHP arrested 1,417 drunk drivers over the Labor Day holiday.

To aid in the crackdown against driving under the influence the CHP is urging motorists call 911 if they see any drivers whom they suspect drunk. Motorist who call 911 to report drunk drivers should be prepared to provide CHP dispatchers with a description of the drunk driver’s car, its location and direction of travel.

Drivers arrested for DUI/DWI in California face severe consequences including a potential jail sentence: 0 to 180 days on a first offense, 10 days minimum on a second DUI, 120 days to 1 year on a 3rd drunk driving charge and possible state prison if convicted of a 4th offense for driving under the influence. In addition to possible jail time, DUI offenders must pay hefty fines to the court and fees for attendance at mandatory DUI school. Further, drunk drivers face the possible suspension, revocation or restriction of their driving privileges. Moreover, the installation of an ignition interlock devices (IID) is mandatory for even a 1st offense DUI conviction in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties. Those counties are conducting a pilot program for 1st offender IID devices and the IID requirement on a 1st DUI may be expanded statewide in the future.
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At around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2010, a 25 year old Vallejo woman had herself arrested for drunk driving. Nancy Murcia told Vallejo police officers that she felt compelled to call 911 to report that she had been drinking and driving. Officers pulled her over near Florida and Sacramento Streets in Vallejo and found that she was in fact driving under the influence.

Ms. Murcia could be facing possible county jail time ranging from six months to one year depending on whether this is her first or multiple arrest for DUI. Driver’s in California arrested for drunk driving also face the potential loss of their driving privilege from the DMV for between four months to four years. The length of driver’s license suspension or revocation varies based on factors including prior convictions and whether the driver refused to submit to a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol concentration.

Multiple offenders can now obtain a restricted driving privilege after ninety days of suspension on a second offense and six months of suspension on a third offense provided they install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car and provide proof of DUI program attendance and and SR22.
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The California Highway Patrol and the state’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), have named Alameda County’s multi jurisdictional DUI enforcement campaign the best in the state. The driving under the influence campaign, “Avoid the 21”, involves police departments from the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, the CHP and municipalities throughout Alameda County.

Police officers in Alameda County made 897 arrests for driving under the influence during a 17-day enforcement effort at the end of 2009. Only Los Angeles County, which had 2,622 drunk driving arrests had more during the same DUI campaign.

This year officers will be running their DUI campaign over the Fourth of July weekend beginning on Friday, July 2, 2010, and ending at midnight on Monday, July 5, 2010. As part of the effort to reduce traffic accidents and get drunk drivers off the roads, the city of Fremont Police Department will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint from 6 p.m. on July 3, 2010 to 3 a.m. on July 4th.
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45 year old Primitivo Piceno of Santa Rosa was arrested on May 30, 2010, by the CHP in Cloverdale. Police officers contacted Mr. Piceno after being notified that a driver was traveling well under the speed limit and impeding other drivers.

Responding officers found Mr. Piceno parked on the shoulder being detained by other drivers. He was apparently so drunk that was unable to speak coherently and fell to the ground while attempting to perform field sobriety tests.

Mr. Piceno was arrested and booked in to the Sonoma County jail for numerous counts including felony drunken driving and driving with a suspended license. Anyone charged with their fourth DUI in a ten year period or who has a prior felony DUI within the last ten years can be charged with a felony for driving under the influence. Mr. Piceno was charged with a felony due the number and recency of his prior DUIs.

Police officers said that Mr. Piceno had an order to drive any vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device installed in it. The Vehicle he was driving did not have an IID in it.
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On Monday morning a Petaluma Police Officer was responding to a crash around 1:30 a.m. when he was side swiped by a suspected drunk driver. Twenty six year old Keith Obryan Johnson failed to move out of the way when the officer pulled up behind him with his lights flashing and siren blaring. When the officer changed lanes to go around him, Mr. Johnson turned to the left and struck the officers police cruiser.

Neither the officer nor Mr. Johnson were injured in the crash. Mr. Johnson was arrested after the accident and booked into the Sonoma County Jail with a blood alcohol test result of .12%, more than the California limit of .08%. Monday’s driving under the influence arrest was the second for Mr. Johnson in February 2010. He was arrested for a DUI, assault and battery, car theft, driving on a suspended license and violating his probation on February 6 in Rhonert Park.

Mr. Johnson could be charged with a third DUI as he was convicted of driving under the influence in 2008 and placed on probation. DUI in California is a priorable offense for ten years from the date of arrest. As such, anyone convicted of driving under the influence or driving with a .08% or above can have their sentence enhanced if they are convicted of any subsequent DUI in the next ten years.

A third offense DUI can be punished with probation including a minimum jail term of 120 days, fines of more than $2,000.00, and mandatory attendance at a DUI program of 18 or 30 months. The DMV can also revoke a third offender’s driving privilege for 3 years and will require the installation of an ignition interlock device, IID, upon application for a restricted license.
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