Police in Visalia and Fresno set up a checkpoint on a recent weekend night
that led to
40 traffic tickets and six arrests, some for suspicion of DUI and some for outstanding warrants.
Some of these citations were for safety violations.
Additionally, officers impounded five vehicles because the drivers had
invalid licenses. All in all, officers stopped 63 vehicles in six hours
from about sundown on Friday night to early Saturday morning. A grant
from the California Office of Traffic Safety paid for the additional equipment,
officer overtime, and all other related expenses.
Both agencies said they plan to operate more checkpoints in the future.
Just a few years ago, the revenue vs. safety debate regarding penalty assessments
centered on vehicle impounds at designated checkpoints. Although they
were theoretically anti-DUI safety measures, many checkpoints had morphed
into vehicle impound money-grabs.
In response to this criticism, the Legislature enacted
VC 2814.2, which, among other limitations, eliminates an officer’s ability
to impound a vehicle at a checkpoint unless the driver was arrested on
suspicion of DUI or some other violation, in addition to the invalid license.
VC 2814.1 is just a few verses earlier in the traffic code Bible. It authorizes
peace officers to set up checkpoints to enforce VC 27153 and 27153.5.
These sections prohibit certain types of polluting exhaust systems, as
well as “excessive smoke, flame, gas, oil, or fuel residue.”
In commercial vehicles, a violation carries a whopping $1,100 penalty,
when considering fines, penalty assessments, and add-ons.
Some people think that the judge automatically dismisses non-moving violations
like these as long as the driver provides proof of compliance. But that’s
not necessarily the case. Some judges like to “send a message”
in these cases, especially in environmentally-sensitive or political hot-button
areas. Your chances of getting that ticket dismissed increase greatly
if you have an experienced attorney that knows the law.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving
individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call
today at 661-859-1177 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-376-0214.