August 28, 2014
Labor Day is the unofficial last day of summer. It is your last chance to have some drinks poolside before fall is upon us. Many residents of Ventura gather together each Labor Day to celebrate and some make the mistake of driving home after having a few too many drinks. If you plan on celebrating this Labor Day, keep in mind that Ventura County police departments will be out in full force looking for drunk drivers.
Locals can expect The Ventura County “Avoid the 14 DUI” Task Force to aggressively search for impaired drivers over the coming weeks. During Labor Day weekend, there will be three DUI sobriety checkpoints, several roving DUI saturation patrols, a Multi-Agency DUI Task Force Operation, a DUI Warrant / Probation Sweep and even a DUI Court Sting that will target suspended drivers who are not allowed to drive.
When approaching a DUI checkpoint, it is important that you do not make a sudden U-turn and draw attention to yourself. There are police officers who are posted near checkpoints who monitor the surrounding area. Your turn may appear suspicious and it could lead to a traffic stop. Instead, remain calm and act normally. Ask your passengers to remain quiet and do not speak unless spoken to. Officers have to abide to certain parameters when conducting a checkpoint. So, it is likely that you will be waved by without having to even roll down your window.
If a saturation patrol officer or a checkpoint officer stops you, remember that you have rights. You do not have to take a roadside breath test and you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test. You are only required to take a blood alcohol test after you are arrested and read your rights. At that point, you should ask to speak to an experienced Ventura DUI defense lawyer attorney and exercise your right to remain silent.
Please remember to only drive while sober this summer and to seek legal guidance if you are arrested for drunk driving. Even first-time offenders can face heavy fines, lengthy license suspensions and incarceration. Please contact a knowledgeable defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.