Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Northern California DUI enforcement & checkpoint coming up

California drunk driving criminal defense lawyers who specialize in California DUI cases offer a free consultation and report Friday is the first day of a DUI enforcement campaign that increases checkpoints and patrols statewide with more than 100 law enforcement agencies participating through the holiday season.

The annual "Avoid" campaign increases the amount of California Highway Patrol and police officers on the streets and provides brochures and signs reminding drivers to be safe about getting behind the wheel. Last year, the campaign stopped more than 3,000 DUI suspects.

San Francisco police Chief Heather Fong said at a news conference in the city Friday that the county's local Avoid 14 campaign will not be lenient.

It is important not to let festivities turn into something that puts others in harm's way, she said.

Law enforcement agencies are stressing that drivers call 911 if they see another driver who might be intoxicated.

CHP Chief Jim Leonard said the sole purpose of the campaign is to help avoid any tragedies and a single call to 911 can make the difference.

"We need that information," Leonard said. "It's an issue of saving someone's life."

Leonard said during maximum enforcement periods, which are typically at night on Christmas and New Year's Eve, 80 to 90 percent of their officers are on the highways.

He also said drivers should stay out of the fast lane and take extra precaution around hills and turns to avoid colliding with wrong-way drivers.

The campaign is more than 30 years old and started in Santa Clara County. In 1991, other counties started participating, and this year, 41 of 58 counties are involved.

If a driver does get stopped at a San Francisco checkpoint, they might see official checkpoint K-9 Sirius, who will be 5 years old next month, and his owner U.S. park police Officer Neil Wu who has participated in more than 20 Avoid checkpoints.

Fong said it is important to keep the community safe and the holidays without tragedies.

"If all of us are watching out for each other," Fong said, "we can make the difference during this holiday season."

California Criminal Defense Attorney Rick Mueller recently spoke at the California Attorneys For Criminal Justice annual DUI seminar in Rancho Mirage, California: http://www.cacj.org/Events/forms/DUI%20Brochure%20Final.pdf . The California criminal defense lawyers who attended informed the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association that San Diego California DUI criminal defense attorney Rick Mueller was excellent. Rick has been asked to speak again - at the California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA) DUI seminar.

What you must do within 10 days of being arrested

10. If you need to save your driver's license or privileges, your attorney has only ten (10) calendar days to contact DMV!

Do not schedule yourself. If you contact DMV to schedule a date conflicting with your attorney's calendar, DMV will not reschedule and you may not get the attorney of your choice. There is no rush as long as your attorney contacts DMV by the 10th day from your arrest.

9. The ten (10) day time limit is computed from the Issue date of the SUSPENSION/REVOCATION ORDER AND TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSE. If time is running out or you are late, contact an attorney ASAP.


7. Even if you did not receive this DMV paper, the California DMV will probably take action against your driving privileges.

6. Even if you have a license from another state, and even if the officer did not take your license, that state may also take action against your driving privileges.

5. This TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSE ENDORSEMENT is valid for only thirty (30) days from the issue date.

If a DMV hearing is requested within ten (10) days, your DMV TEMPORARY will be extended & there will be a stay (delay) of any suspension until the outcome of your DMV hearing is determined.

4. Do not confuse this initial 30 day TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSE with your court date!

The DMV and criminal proceedings are separate and independent. The outcome of one almost never affects the other. Sometimes the officer or the DMV paper confuses or misleads you to believe that the TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSE is good "until the court date". If there are approximately thirty (30) days from your arrest date to your court date, this may just be a dangerous coincidence. There usually are months before your DMV hearing takes place.

3. There are three (3) issues at the hearing if you completed a chemical test. (See reverse side of DMV paper.)

Issues are whether the officer had probable cause to stop or contact you or whether the chemical test evidence is beatable.

2. The DMV has the burden of proof to prevail on all three (3) issues. If DMV meets the burden of proof on two (2) issues, you win!

1. All a DMV attorney has to do is knock out one (1) DMV issue to save your license & you avoid any reissue fee and/or Proof of Insurance SR-22 filing!

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