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You'd Better Get That Fixed

dui checkpointPolice 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.

Safety Checkpoints

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.