June 3, 2014
If you were out driving during Memorial Day weekend in Santa Clarita, you may have noticed the increase in police activity. In addition to patrolling the streets, Santa Clarita Sheriff's deputies operated two separate checkpoints for the purposes of stopping and arresting motorists driving under the influence (DUI). The checkpoints resulted in multiple arrests. According to a hometownstation.com news report, a total of 2,062 vehicles were checked at the two points on the night of May 23, resulting in 18 arrests. Officials set up the checkpoints on eastbound Soledad Canyon Road at Golden Oak Road and on Newhall Ranch Road east of Grandview Drive between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Of the 18 drivers arrested, one was taken into custody for driving under the influence. Another suspect was arrested for driving a vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device as required by law. Furthermore, three drivers were arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license, 14 drivers were arrested for not having a license, one vehicle was stored for one day, three were impounded for 30 days, and 13 vehicles were released.
Drivers in Santa Clarita can expect to see more checkpoints like this one during the summer. When approaching a checkpoint, ask your passengers to refrain from talking or joking around. Do not roll down your window unless asked to and choose your words carefully when you talk to officers manning the checkpoint. Remain calm and remember that you have the right to refuse to perform a field sobriety test if asked.
You can avoid checkpoints by staying abreast of police activity this summer. Police departments are legally required to publicize where they will have sobriety checkpoints. So you can check online to see if traffic will be backed up before you hit the roadway. Taking alternative routes is a good way to avoid congestion and stressful conversations with the police.
However, the best way to avoid a DUI this summer is to not drink and drive. It only takes a couple of drinks to for your blood alcohol concentration to exceed the legal limit. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated is extremely dangerous and a conviction for DUI in Santa Clarita can cost you thousands of dollars.
If you have been arrested, please remember that you have rights. You can fight the charges, request an attorney, and refrain from answering questions that could jeopardize your case later. An experienced Santa Clarita DUI defense lawyer can help fight all types of charges including those that stem from sobriety checkpoints.