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Checkpoint in Central CaliforniaRecently, eight people were arrested at a Friday night checkpoint in Bakersfield.

The checkpoint was in the 4700 block of Panama Lane, from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Police made one felony arrest due to outstanding warrants, two DUI arrests and five arrests for driving with a suspended license. Eight other drivers were ticketed for not having a valid license. Police held 34 other vehicles until the end of the checkpoint period, due to minor drivers' licenses issues, like an incorrect address.

The state and federal governments provided funding for the checkpoint.

Many people are confused when they receive a traffic ticket at a checkpoint. Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and cars had 8-track players, officers could set up a vehicle checkpoint at almost any time in almost any location. The Supreme Court at first declared these things to be illegal, but then it reinstated checkpoints some time later. Now, checkpoints are valid if they meet certain criteria: drivers must be warned in advance, the intrusion must be minimal and the rules must be clearly defined.

Checkpoints like the one in Bakersfield last month are supposed to catch drunk drivers, but police usually write a lot more tickets for drivers' license violations than they do DUI, or anything else. If you got a ticket at a checkpoint in Fresno, the ticket may be valid, even though the officer had no reasonable suspicion to stop you.

An experienced attorney can fight the ticket in court, or at least negotiate with prosecutors to get the fine and/or points reduced.

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