Sunday, August 24, 2008

California DUI attorneys' report of execution of warrants

California DUI attorneys report that four patrol cars crammed into the drive at a senior mobile home park in Paradise where officers arrested and handcuffed a middle-aged bearded man wearing a black t-shirt. "Unbelievable," the man said as officers placed him in the back of a police car.

He was convicted of driving under the influence and suspected of violating court conditions, and officers conducted many arrests such as his throughout Butte County yesterday as part of a requirement by the Office of Traffic and Safety. Officers from Paradise, Chico, Oroville, Gridley, and Chico State police departments and deputies from the Butte County Sheriff's Department comprised two teams to arrest DUI offenders who failed to cooperate with courts.

Paradise Police Sgt. John Bruschi said the officers had an extensive list of offenders, 76 names throughout the county in fact, but he doubted they would get to all of them in one day. A three-year grant from the Office of Traffic and Safety pays for all personnel and equipment during the DUI taskforce projects, including saturation patrol, DUI checkpoints and warrant arrests.

Most people arrested yesterday were in violation of court conditions following DUI conviction, Bruschi said. These offenders are possibly out there driving and the police officer's goal is to get them back into compliance, he said.

"Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don't comply with the terms and conditions of the court," Bruschi said. "We have the opportunity to go out and put a small dent in the problem out there."
Conducting these warrant arrests also helps the public know that the justice system takes drunk driving seriously, by sending approximately 20 officers out to combat the problem, Bruschi said.

DUI incidents are a common occurrence in Paradise. It's a daily occurrence in Butte County, he said. The overall goal of the grant is to lower the number of DUI-related injuries and fatalities in Butte County while educating the public through media and schools, he said. According to official statistics, 272 people were injured and 16 were killed in DUI-related incidents in Butte County in 2007, according to California DUI lawyers.

"We're trying to make a difference," Bruschi said.

Before heading out into the field, officers gathered at the Paradise Police station yesterday at noon for a briefing, which included instructions regarding the procedure of the day, officer safety and what to do in the event of a critical incident. After that, they drove around to DUI offenders' homes and either conducted arrests or probation searches. The number of arrests conducted throughout the process will be available today.