Articles Posted in Probation

A 55 year old man was arrested for DUI and booked in to the Sonoma County jail on Friday, March 27, 2015. That man was arrested with a child in his car and booked for drunk diving and suspicion of cruelty to a child. He posted bail on Saturday, Mach 28, 2015, and was released. However, the same man was booked into the jail again on Saturday night following a second arrest for driving under the influence.

Drunk driving with a child in the car often results in California District Attorney Offices, including the Sonoma County DA, charging the driver with child endangerment. If a person is convicted of child endangerment and of DUI, their probation is normally extended from 3 to 4 years and they must attend a 52 week parenting class. An experienced DUI attorney can usually get the child endangerment charge dismissed but a driver may still have to admit an enhancement for having a minor under 14 years of age in the car while driving under the influence. An admission to that enhancement can result in increased jail or alternative work time and attendance at some parenting classes less than 52 weeks in length.
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The California Highway Patrol arrested 24 drivers for suspected driving under the influence over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend in Sonoma County.

CHP officers made traffic stops resulting in DUI arrests for speeding and making an illegal left turn. One driver was also arrested for drunk driving after crashing his car on Heather Land in West Sonoma County.

Four children were in the car of one suspected drunk driver and he will likely also be charged with child endangerment by the Sonoma County District Attorney. A conviction for a DUI while having passengers under the age of 14 in the car can result in enhanced penalties including additional jail time. Further, a person convicted of child endangerment will be placed on 4 years of probation and must attend mandatory parenting classes.

A 24 year old man arrested over the weekend was found to be driving without a license and was determined to be on probation. That driver fought with police officers and refused to get out of the police car. He was booked on charges of resisting an officer and violating his probation.
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The Solano County Probation Department has received $17,000.00 in grant money from the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in order to conduct a one year-long program aimed at curbing DUI related deaths and injuries.

Felony and repeat drunk drivers in Solano County will be targeted with specialized probation supervision measures. Grant money will also be used by the probation department to work with other Solano County Police agencies on anti-DUI efforts. Those multi agency activities will include monitoring of treatment and DUI program compliance, driving under the influence related warrant sweeps, and unannounced home searches of drunk driving probationers.
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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.
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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 California Highway Patrol will be conducting a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint this Friday, July 2, 2010 in Southern Santa Rosa from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. The location of the checkpoint has not been disclosed.

According to Sergeant Allan Capurro, the CHP will be focussing on drunk drivers throughout Sonoma County over the Fourth of July Holiday weekend. Driving under the influence patrols will be made in an effort to reduce traffic crashes due to drunken drivers.

Suspended license and DUI checkpoints are becoming more and more common in Sonoma County and throughout California. Recent studies, including one at the University of California Berkeley, have found that these Drunk Driving checkpoints have become extremely profitable for local municipalities as they are far more likely to seize cars from unlicensed motorists than catch drunken drivers. Past checkpoints in Marin County for driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license raised legal questions in the UC Berkeley Study as during the past two years, 10 San Rafael’s 12 sobriety checkpoints took place on streets surrounding neighborhoods with large Hispanic populations. Those operations resulted in only 4 DUI arrests but netted fees for the 121 impounded cars for driver’s license violations.
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Eliseo Hernandez, 43, was arrested on Friday evening after crashing his SUV on northbound highway 101 in Novato. Novao Police Officers said that Hernandez crashed after cutting off another vehicle and losing control.

Mr. Hernandez suffered minor injuries in the rollover and was treated at Marin General Hospital for head cuts. After receiving treatment at Marin General he was booked into the Marin County Jail on suspicion of drunk driving and driving with a suspended license.

The Marin County District Attorney will review the case and make a charging determination. Mr. Hernandez could be charged with a misdemeanor suspended license violation and a misdemeanor or felony DUI depending on whether he has any prior convictions for drunk driving. A conviction on a first offense for driving under the influence can result in the punishment including fines, license suspension, probation and mandatory attendance at a first offender DUI program.
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Last weekend the San Rafael Police Department conducted two DUI/driver’s license checkpoints in the city.

Both San Rafael driving under the influence checkpoints were set up on Friday May 7, 2010. The first suspended license checkpoint was located on North San Pedro Road in the early evening and the second DUI and driver’s license checkpoint was done at the intersection of 5th and Irwin in downtown San Rafael.

San Rafael Police Sergeant Christopher Coale said that approximately 1,200 cars passed through both checkpoints. When all was said and done police officers arrested only two people for driving under the influence. Eighteen additional people were cited for driving on a suspended license or driving without a license in their possession. The San Rafael Police Department issued an additional eight traffic tickets for moving violations and safety violations.

Anyone charged with a traffic ticket for a moving violation faces a fine if convicted and would receive one or more points on their DMV driving record. Further, their insurance rates could go up for at least three years.
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A Mill Valley woman who was accused in October 2009 of using her 13-year-old son as a designated driver entered a guilty plea to a DUI and felony drug possession on Monday. Her drug possession charges stemmed from an unrelated earlier arrest.

The woman was arrested on October 4, 2009, after she and her boyfriend had her son drive them home from dinner and drinks so as to avoid another DUI arrest. The couple both had prior drunk driving cases. Shortly after he started driving home from San Anselmo the 13 year old decided he could not continue and stopped the vehicle in the middle of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. San Anselmo police were attracted to the parked vehicle and contacted the involved parties. The woman was subsequently arrested and charged by the Marin County District Attorney with DUI, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and allowing a minor to drive. In exchange for her guilty plea to the DUI the remaining charges were dismissed.

The driver returns to court on April 20, 2010 for sentencing. The sentence she receives will depending on the recency of any prior DUI convictions and will likely include punishment for the drug possession. On a second offense DUI alone she would be facing between ten days to one year in county jail, substantial fines and mandatory attendance at a DUI program. However, a conviction for a felony drug charge can carry punishment ranging from drug treatment or probation which may include county jail time, up to a state prison commitment. Her actual sentence will be based on numerous factors which will usually be discussed and provided to the judge in a pre-sentence report prepared by the Marin County Probation Department.
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