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News, Santa Monica, Police Department

Santa Monica DUI Checkpoint Tonight At Undisclosed Location

Posted Aug. 16, 2013, 10:35 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

A Santa Monica DUI/Driver's License Checkpoint will be held tonight, Aug. 16. The Santa Monica Police Department never discloses the location in advance, but it will be within city limits.

SMPD officers will be contacting drivers passing through the checkpoint looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension, and insurance increases; as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, court probation and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Aug. 18, 2013, 7:21:48 pm

Know YOUR Rights said...

Sobriety checkpoints — also known as DUI checkpoints — are the most common roadblocks you might encounter. They function as a general purpose investigatory tactic where police can get a close look at passing motorists by detaining them briefly. A roadblock stop is quick, but it gives police a chance to check tags and licenses, while also giving officers a quick whiff of the driver’s breath and a chance to peer into the vehicle for a moment. Remember that your constitutional rights still apply in a roadblock situation. Though police are permitted to stop you briefly, they may not search you or your car unless they have probable cause that you’re under the influence or you agree to the search. As such, you are not required to answer their questions or admit to breaking the law. Since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Illinois v. Caballes police have more leeway to use drug-sniffing dogs in roadblock situations. There’s no need to waive your rights simply because dogs are present. But be advised that your legal options are limited if you’re arrested as a result of a dog sniff during a roadblock. Also keep in mind that police closely monitor cars approaching the roadblock. So you’re not likely to have any success trying to evade it. Sobriety checkpoints are generally permitted by the courts, but only if conducted properly. If you’re arrested at a police roadblock always consult an attorney before confessing or agreeing to a plea bargain. There might be some legal options that your lawyer can pursue.

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