Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

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Source: Santa Maria Police Department

No drivers were arrested for DUI  while conducting a DUI checkpoint on July 30th, 2021.

The checkpoint was held at the 1300 block of south Broadway from 6:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The checkpoint was shut down early due the traffic unit responding to assist investigation in a fatal traffic collision.

6 drivers were cited for operating a vehicle unlicensed or with a suspended/revoked license, 166 vehicles were screened. No other drivers were arrested.

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.

Regarding the fatal traffic collision, it involved a motorcyclist traveling southbound on Broadway road at a high rate of speed, failed to stop at the red light at McCoy and Broadway,  and broadsided a car making a turn onto McCoy from Broadway with a green arrow signal. The collision caused the car to turn on its side. The motorcyclist was declared dead on scene and the driver of the car was uninjured. 

The motorcyclist was an adult male and the driver of the car was an juvenile female. 

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RHS Aug 03, 2021 06:25 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

This just goes on and on. These checkpoints are absurd. 6 people cited for infractions while 166 people were "screened'! That is an police state rationale for denying people freedom of travel and conditioning them to the idea that police can impose their will at random. I have to believe that on any given night the force dedicated to this would have done a whole lot more good if they were just on patrol. The only reason this is done is to get the "grant" which is another absurd idea--just give the money to local LE and let them decide what is a priority in their community.

CCMan Aug 09, 2021 02:26 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Checkpoints are highly visible, highly publicized events meant to deter drinking and driving in the first place. Checkpoints have been shown to have the potential to lower DUI fatality rates by up to 20 percent by virtue of their deterrence. People go through them, drive past them, hear about them via multiple grapevines and get the ongoing impression that drunk driving is dangerous, socially unacceptable, and that law enforcement is actively looking for it.

Patrols are meant to catch active drunks, get them off the streets and prosecute them. Patrols have little deterrent value, but high enforcement value. They are both good tactics and both should be in the arsenal of DUI combating tactics, along with others. In terms of catching drunks, nothing beats patrols. In terms of saving lives, nothing beats checkpoints.

CCMan Aug 09, 2021 01:48 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

The Constitution does not prohibit all search and seizure, just “unreasonable” search and seizure. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled (see Michigan v. Sitz, 1990) that sobriety checkpoints meet the Fourth Amendment standard of "reasonable search and seizure." The Court is, by force of Article III of the Constitution itself, the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution. In addition, court rulings over the last 20 years have put more and more restrictions on checkpoints, leaving them less obtrusive and more transparent, with less chance of abuse.

RHS Aug 04, 2021 06:20 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

1:44 p.m.--the rights of passengers in 166 vehicles were violated. How can that not be obvious. People have the right to travel unimpeded unless they are observed by the police to be in violation of the law. This is not the case here. Not one of these people were observed to be in violation of any law when detained and interrogated and searched.

RHS Aug 04, 2021 01:35 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

6:36 pm--'effective deterrents' do not override the Bill of Rights. Otherwise we could have coerced confessions, search without probable cause, home invasion raids, denial of counsel, denial of jury, denial of appeal. All these things would deter I guess, but we have a national belief that personal liberty must be protected and a national aversion to a police state.

Taryn J. White Aug 03, 2021 03:40 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

6 DUI arrests is quite a high number it seems for a single night of a DUI checkpoint. Hopefully this arrest news of six drivers having to fightDUIcharges now in court, will serve as a reminder and deterrent to people not to risk drinking and driving in the first place. It's just not worth it with Uber and Lyft available.

72torinomike Aug 03, 2021 04:23 PM
Six Arrests at Santa Maria DUI Checkpoint

Please read the article, rather than just the headline. 6 arrests were for operating a vehicle without a license or with a suspended/revoked license. Your other points are right on the money regarding DUI.

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