Pacifica DUI checkpoint


By on Fri, August 27, 2010

I want to start by saying that I think DUI checkpoints are great. They remove dangerous elements from our roadways. What I didn’t like today was being asked to show my drivers license at one tonight.

Under normal circumstances if I commit an infraction and get pulled over I fully understand why I would have to show my papers to an officer in the course of being ticketed. Tonight I was asked to show my papers just because I was on the road. It irked me. I wanted to know if this was legal and from what I have gathered I suppose it is.

What I did find out that really set me off is that the DUI check point maybe isn’t just a DUI checkpoint at all but a snare for illegal immigrants and others that do not have a drivers license.

I read that the ratio of impoundments to driving under the influence arrests was high around the Bay Area in 2009: In Daly City, there were 39.5 impoundments for every D.U.I. arrest; in San Rafael, 18.6; and in San Pablo, 9. California law requires towing companies to hold them for 30 days. That can mean storage fees and fines that run from $1,000 to $4,000, municipal finance records show.

I understand that unlicensed drivers can be a threat but I also feel that the consequences of losing your vehicle to a impound for a minimum for 30 days is a absolute travesty when drunk drivers can usually pick up their cars the next day. Something to think about.

Link to a NY times article discussing the issue.