Thursday, September 11, 2008

California DUI / Drunk Driving Saturation Patrol update

California DUI criminal defense lawyers are told that Labor Day weekend, the Pasadena Police Department conducted its sixth DUI saturation enforcement detail of 2008.

The California DUI / Drunk Driving operation ran from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Aug 29, a Friday. Incidentally, a DUI saturation enforcement detail is different from a DUI checkpoint. Unlike California DUI / Drunk Driving checkpoints, there is no predetermined location where cops screen all drivers passing through a particular location. Instead, according to Lt. Phulante Riddle, California DUI / Drunk Driving saturation details involve officers — this time 14 — patrolling areas with high numbers of restaurants and bars, including Old Pasadena, South Lake Avenue, the east end of Colorado Boulevard and the edges of San Gabriel. According to Riddle, 11 DUI arrests were made, with all 11 perps found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of .08.

Maybe celebrating the fact that we caught nearly a dozen California DUI drunk drivers is a little deranged, but still, no one was injured, or worse, killed, and I’m all about celebrating the little victories.

On any given Friday before a holiday weekend probably more than 11 California DUI / Drunk Driving people in Pasadena foolishly put the pedal to the metal in their cars. This particular Friday was undoubtedly no exception.

Even if California DUI / Drunk Driving police enforcement isn’t catching all of the cockeyed drivers, they are catching some. And that deserves recognition, especially when you consider that this California DUI / Drunk Driving saturation detail came at a relatively low cost to taxpayers, yet may have helped save some of their lives. Simple math (which is the only kind I’m capable of grasping) will prove my point.

According to Riddle, the total cost of staging this California DUI / Drunk Driving action was roughly $10,000 — money acquired from a grant awarded to the Pasadena Police Department by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Riddle says the minimum financial consequences one can expect when convicted of California DUI / Drunk Driving driving under the influence come to $13,500. That -figure includes, among other things, the minimum fine of $486, vehicle towing and storage, running another $187, and alcohol education courses, which cost roughly $500. Then there are the other fines and penalties, including attorney fees (which can vary immensely), booking and photographing fees, DMV reissuing charges, not to mention the long-term penalties (such as an increase in auto insurance, which may cost more than $8,000 over a 10-year period). The potential loss of a job would also probably be devastating.