Criminal Defense in Orange County

Huntington Beach DUI Checkpoints Now Occurring Monthly

In order to combat the high number of DUI accidents in the Orange County area, the Huntington Beach Police Department will now be conducting DUI checkpoints on a near monthly basis. In order to accomplish this goal, The California Office of Traffic Safety gave the H.B. police a grant just over $100,000. This funding should be enough to cover the cost of 11 checkpoints throughout the next year.

The state of California compiles groups of cities together in order to analyze and compare data and findings related to traffic offenses and collisions. Recently what was found was that H.B. is in the top five cities for collisions that were caused by alcohol impairment. This was unacceptable, according to the H.B. police chief, and therefore the city is now implementing an increase in DUI checkpoints.

H.B. is also high on the list for accidents and arrests caused by driving under the influence of drugs such as marijuana. Over the past four years, DUI arrests in this particular area of Orange County have been on the decline, but this statistic could be misleading. Due to the still-increasing number of annual DUI accidents, this statistic may indicate that a decline in arrests can be contributed to the elimination of the H.B.P.D.'s DUI unit.

Although budget cuts over the past few years may have made the police department lax on enforcing DUI laws, this new grant will reverse this. Residents of Orange County should expect an increase in DUI enforcement and should be on the lookout for DUI checkpoints around every four weeks. DUI checkpoints are typically conducted at night on main roads.

DUI checkpoints are said to decrease the fatality rate for DUI-related accidents by 20 percent compared to a scenario in which there were no DUI checkpoints. Law enforcement officials that operate DUI checkpoints are prevented from using any subjective criteria when stopping vehicles, but rather must use a predetermined standard. An example of a predetermined standard might be "every fourth vehicle." If you were arrested at a checkpoint based on a subjective standard (i.e. an officer's "gut feeling") then this could constitute an unlawful police stop and your charges may be dropped.

H.B.P.D. is not keeping this program a secret, but is rather publicly announcing it by way of a series of press releases. The department hopes that the publicity will discourage drivers from operating their vehicles while impaired. Due to the increase in DUI checkpoints and the overall crackdown on DUI in Orange County, you or a loved one may recently have been arrested. To learn more about defense against these charges, please do not hesitate to contact an Orange County DUI lawyer from our firm.

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