13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

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Source: Santa Maria Police Department

4 arrested for DUI  while conducting a DUI checkpoint on April 30th, 2021.

The checkpoint was held at the 200 block of south Broadway from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

9 drivers were cited for operating a vehicle unlicensed or with a suspended/revoked license, 204 vehicles were screened, and 0 were arrested for other criminal charges.

Checkpoint locations are based on a history of crashes and DUI arrests. The primary purpose of checkpoints is not to make arrests, but to promote public safety by deterring drivers from driving impaired.

The Santa Maria Police Department will hold another DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint in the upcoming months.

Funding for this checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Chip of SB May 03, 2021 03:17 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Only 4 of 13 arrests were actually for drunk driving?!?! Seems like these checkpoints are little more than a way to bypass the protections of the fourth amendment.

sacjon May 03, 2021 03:28 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

CHIP - now this, I agree with you somewhat on! These checkpoints, while generally constitutional, are just not effective. SBPD/SBSO never publish the results of these checkpoints, and likely for good reason. The few times they have published them, the effectiveness rate was shockingly minimal. With social media and smart phones these days, everyone is alerted to these once the location is set up. So much wasted man hours standing around waiting for a drunk driver to show up. Go patrol the bars/liquor store areas! It's like, and I've said this before, standing around a lake with a net waiting for a fish to swim into it instead of actively looking for the fish and catching them where they're known to be!

CoastWatch May 03, 2021 03:32 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

@CHIP OF SB---- I guess YOU have never been a victim of being hit by an UNLICENSED, UNINSURED or UNREGESTERED vehicle driven by someone with a FAKE I.D.
I wish they would screen EVERY driver as they do in every country in the E.U. Checking vehicles for tire wear, brakes and even unrepaired body damage....
Driving a vehicle on public roadways is NOT a "right" It's a privilege that should be appreciated. When I drive down to Mexico, I need proof of ownership and MANDITORY MEXICAN INSURANCE as well as a FI card (Visa).. We need stricter vehicle and driver enforcement here.

ChemicalSuperFreak May 03, 2021 06:43 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

COAST: I've been hit by an UNLICENSED, UNINSURED, UNDOCUMENTED driver. Cops actually let him go and told me that he'll probably disappear back across the border for a time to lay low, then come back and do it again. That's exactly what happened and I had to pay for the damages out of pocket. Since then I've always had uninsured motorist coverage.

Additionally, some of these vehicles that are UNREGISTERED are polluters that would never pass an emissions test. I thought people cared about the environment.

Look_Over_Here May 03, 2021 08:55 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

I am all for them. I was hit by a driver who was driving on a suspended license (for 3 dui's at the age of 22), with a 3 year old in the car, not in a child seat, not paying attention. (She admitted it). Damage was only a couple thousand dollars. When she couldn't produce a license, I called the police. As I did that, she called family to pick up the kid so they wouldn't see he wasn't in a child seat. I say catch them any way possible and if a DUI check-point gets them, good.

ChemicalSuperFreak May 04, 2021 02:18 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

CHICO, I walked away with body damage to the vehicle only, so I was lucky. I'm sorry to hear about your neck, and I can empathize. I was ice climbing once, encountered a 100 foot deep chasm, jumped over it and landed on a steep piece of ice in a bad way and damaged my L4. I was young then, but it's haunting me now that I'm older. I really feel for people who have any damage to their spine, as there's not much you can do but to live with it and it sucks.

PitMix May 03, 2021 03:53 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

This is mostly an overtime program for cops, allowing them to increase their salaries to the point where they might be able to afford to live in SB County after all. The cost of it must be really high compared to getting 13 drivers breaking our laws off the road.

CoastWatch May 03, 2021 04:12 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

@ PIT- They have an annual vehicle check. Each town has a program that is required vehicle safety check and everything is looked at. CA used to have a similar program that ended in the mid 1970s. CHP used to run the program and you had to have a valid CA CHP vehicle approved sticker on your left front windshield. Now go smoke your 3rd bowl of the day.

sacjon May 03, 2021 04:17 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

COASTWATCH - uh, this is about DUIs and drunk drivers, not registration checks. Speaking of smoking too many bowls...... try to focus man.

PitMix May 04, 2021 07:11 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Safety checks don't ensure that unlicensed drivers don't drive. You can always get your licensed friend to do the safety check, just like you can get them to register your car. In fact, do they even take cars away from unlicensed drivers, or not allow them to register them? The only way you might be able to do this is to have facial recognition and license plate reader cameras everywhere, and even in the EU they haven't decided to pursue this loss of privacy.

a-1620226204 May 05, 2021 07:50 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

I lived in a state that also had the vehicle testing and they would give you a sticker for your windshield if it passed. You could get the current sticker for $100, or $50 if you brought you car.

ChillinGrillin May 03, 2021 11:29 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

The Supreme Court decided in Michigan v. Sitz back in 1990 that DUI checkpoints are constitutional and don't violate the 4th amendment. They claimed that the benefits of preventing drunk driving outweigh the short inconvenience for sober drivers.

edney May 03, 2021 04:50 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

If it was only drunk drivers they'd wave the others through. This small survey says that for every drunk driver, there are 2.25 people with other issues that the police think are interesting enough to cite.
I'm somewhat in agreement with coastwatch. We all pay more insurance if we are hit by an uninsured driver. It's not like we are asking people to do some herculean task here in the USA to have the right to drive. If I go to Mexico they don't provide me with a test in English, a translator if I need one or a free lawyer to help me if I'm charged

Roger May 03, 2021 06:08 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

I'm all for them always have been if they save one life or get one impaired driver off the road they served their purpose in my book.

RHS May 03, 2021 06:19 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

This is the sort of thing that makes the point of those that want criminal justice reform. These stops are almost universally placed in neighborhoods where non affluent people travel. They almost universally target crimes of poverty--unlicensed vehicles, out of date d.l. s or no insurance. They are harassment of the poor designed to show who is in charge. On top of this is a ridiculous bureaucracy that gets paid big money to decide who gets the "grants"! Just give the money to the local community and let them decide what they want to spend it on.

Chip of SB May 03, 2021 09:54 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

I don’t normally agree with you RHS, but I think you make an excellent point here. This is exactly the sort of abuse of power the fourth amendment was intended to protect against. Nobody should ever be stopped or searched without probable cause or a warrant.

edney May 03, 2021 09:54 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Unless you wait for them at a place where the social sciences and facts say they've been before in high frequency.
Its like fishing.
paTROLL the entire ocean or put your lines out where the fish are historically.
Holy mother of Facts: where do you think they patrol the most for DUI?
Umm where social science, data and facts say we've never had an arrest for DUI before?
Hey. I got it!!! Lets post up at an intersection where we've never caught a drunk driver while on patrol and ignore the facts and social sciences

edney May 03, 2021 09:54 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Unless you wait for them at a place where the social sciences and facts say they've been before in high frequency.
Its like fishing.
paTROLL the entire ocean or put your lines out where the fish are historically.
Holy mother of Facts: where do you think they patrol the most for DUI?
Umm where social science, data and facts say we've never had an arrest for DUI before?
Hey. I got it!!! Lets post up at an intersection where we've never caught a drunk driver while on patrol and ignore the facts and social sciences

sacjon May 03, 2021 10:08 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

EDNEY - you're not a fisherman are you? You don't troll aimlessly looking for them any more than you stand at the side of the lake where they were the last year when you fished it and expect them to swim into your net. No, you go to where ALL fish are EVERY day (ie, bars, liquor stores late at night, etc) and throw what you know works (ie, patroling or staking out) at them and keep moving if you don't nab one after a couple casts. Standing in one spot for 9 hours with a net is the laziest and least effective way to catch a fish or a drunk driver.

JB86 May 03, 2021 09:50 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Maybe I see it differently. 13 people out of 204 is about 6%. Each of these people presented a potentially lethal threat to the innocent public. LE is trying to mitigate this danger. As to RHS' comments re 'crimes of poverty,' that is totally not the issue - it is about removing irresponsible drivers from the road, whatever their socio-economic status. If you or a loved one is killed by one of these folks, I expect you won't be much concerned with social justice.

RHS May 04, 2021 08:46 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

JB86--my loved one is more likely to be killed by a gun than by an person with an expired driver's license. And unless you have had to make choices like doing without insurance in order to have money to feed yourself or family by driving to a job that has no alternative access I think you have little appreciation for what "crimes of poverty" are.

Chip of SB May 04, 2021 09:42 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

RHS, I think you raise another excellent point. I feel the requirement to buy insurance in order to register a car is legally awkward. It was not required until relatively recently. In addition, all the fees associated with licensing, registering, and smogging vehicles are extremely high and unfairly burdensome to those with the least means to pay. Why on earth should it cost hundreds of dollars every year to keep a vehicle registered? Why is it even necessary to register a vehicle every year? Why not register once once when you buy it for a reasonable fee of something like $10? Registration fees are really more like “stick it to the poor” fees. I predict california will increase them dramatically in the years ahead.

LCP112233 May 04, 2021 10:32 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

RHS. I seriously doubt that. But chances are the killer with the gun has an expired/revoked drivers license. Those that have revoked licenses are usually drunk drivers and other non law abiding citizens.

sacjon May 04, 2021 10:53 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

JB86 - how do the 9 unlicensed drivers pose any more of a deadly threat to the "innocent public" than licensed drivers? A lot of assumptions need to be made to reach that conclusion.

PitMix May 04, 2021 11:55 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Chip, can I add to your list, why do we have to pay sales tax on a used car when that sales tax was paid when it was purchased new? The registration and licensing fee pays for the costs of transferring ownership and this just seems like a money grab by the state.

Luvaduck May 04, 2021 08:56 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

I was hit by an unlicensed, uninsured driver who BACKED UP AT A STOP SIGN. He then sped through the T-intersection. I followed him and blocked him in the back-of-the-shops parking area he pulled into and called the cops. They arrived, he gave them several different names. Didn't work. The gringo policeman spoke Spanish. Nevertheless, for all the charges he was sited by let go. Again, the rational was he wouldn't pay, wouldn't go to court. My daughter was rear-ended, similar situation, she now has life-long back problems. An alternate punishment is needed; this should never have become a well-known option.

PitMix May 04, 2021 09:13 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Are you telling me you can't sue these people and get money from them until your bills are paid? I know a homeowner that had to pay $250K because their dog bit a man's hand and he got nerve damage. And you couldn't get anything from your insurer from your uninsured motorist coverage?

sacjon May 04, 2021 10:51 AM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

PIT - sometimes a money judgment against a person isn't worth the paper it's printed on. You can sue all day long, but if the person has nothing, you're not getting a dime. Homeowners are easier to recoup from than unlicensed, uninsured drivers most times.

edney May 04, 2021 01:31 PM
13 Arrested at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Stake out"bars, liquor stores late at night" Where do you think they put the DUI checkpoints?
They choose a common point of egress from those areas with high historical data and put the check point there. Its more efficient than trying to bird dog multiple locations.

If I wanted the fish to come to me, I'd rather fish over a reef. We used to tie 1 gallon plastic milk jugs together, bait some hooks, put a weight on it, set a fire in a pit full of rocks and then surf until we were hungry. Because we knew there were always fish at that reef.

An old hobo up in Washington state taught me a lot about apple picking as itinerant work in these few words.
"Its not what the farmer pays per bushel, its do he have apples or not" He was taking the historical data from years of survey, doing a little math on the price per bushel and making a well informed decision.
No High School diploma required

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