Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned from the Newport Beach Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint on Friday, April 26, 2013 at Jamboree Road and Santa Barbara Drive between the hours of 8:30 p.m. to 3:00 am.
You can read the press release here: http://www.nbpd.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=440
DUI checkpoints are not an effective method of getting drunk drivers off the streets. But they are a substantial source of income for law enforcement – each DUI checkpoint has grants from the State Office of Traffic safety, with matching grants from the Federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Officer overtime is also covered, so it personally puts money in the officer’s pockets, and MADD often will contribute grants, as well as free food and coffee for officers, and volunteers for DUI Checkpoints.
A long term study by UC Berkeley, however, showed that DUI checkpoints result in millions in income not from DUI cases, but from impound fees from unlicensed and unregistered vehicles. Those fees are shared with tow yards, with minimum 30 and 60 day impounds resulting in large sums of income for law enforcement.
Officers and police agencies are now stating that DUI checkpoints are “not about enforcement, but about education”. Be safe out there.
Orange Coast College reports that their students will have the chance to see what it’s like to go through a field sobriety test on campus. Except without the drinking and driving part.
A walking DUI checkpoint event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30th, 2013.
The event is a follow-up to the action team shadowing the Costa Mesa Police Department on March 29 to see first-hand what goes into working a DUI checkpoint. Students observed the process from the perspective of the police from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. that night.
“It was somewhat intimidating with all the lights and signs and everything. Going out there it was completely different,” said Bradley Hughes, 36, a psychology major, “It was a relaxing atmosphere. They’re not out there to bust people for DUIs. They’re there to raise awareness.”
Students watched officers perform the three main field sobriety tests conducted at DUI checkpoints: a check of astigmatism in the eyes, [editor's note - wrong. this test looks for nystagmus, not astigmatism], a balance test requiring one foot be held for 30 seconds with arms at side and the classic: walk a straight line. [and turn, and balance, and follow instructions -Rob]
Before coming upon a DUI checkpoint, there were signs warning drivers about the upcoming checkpoints and people can choose to avoid them. There were no arrests.
However, four people were cited and the action team was there to watch the process during two: one for possession of marijuana and one for driving without a valid license.
“Talking to friends, they have a negative outlook on DUI checkpoints,” Nguyen said. “Before ever seeing what goes on behind the scenes, I realized they’re not out there to get you. They’re there to get you to be aware.”
“[We’ve] set it up like a DUI checkpoint, but on campus,” said Kelly Greene, program coordinator of the Student Health Center. “We’ll have Costa Mesa P.D. at the end and set it up like a checkpoint to conduct field sobriety tests.”
You may have questions about DUI checkpoints and cases in Orange County. Contact our Orange County DUI Lawyers at (877) 568-2977.
The Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) honored 11 Orange County deputy district attorneys today for their time and effort in prosecuting driving under the influence (DUI) cases in 2012. MADD hosted the 26th Annual Law Enforcement and Prosecutor Recognition Luncheon today, March 7, 2013, to honor Orange County prosecutors and police officers for their outstanding contributions to the prosecution of DUI cases. The luncheon was held at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda.
At the luncheon, 11 Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) prosecutors were recognized for their support to victims and their families and diligent efforts in criminal prosecution of DUI defendants. Each was nominated by their OCDA supervisor or a MADD victim advocate. The recipients were verbally recognized and received a framed certificate at the luncheon.
Defendants of the cases prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino and Deputy District Attorneys Bryan Clavecilla, Raymund Diaz, Nancy Hayashida, Lydia Kim, Jeffrey Kirk, Anna McIntire, Robin Park, Caroline Smith, George Turner, and Beth Zuber faced charges ranging from misdemeanor driving under the influence to felony murder. The efforts of the prosecution resulted in the defendants’ convictions with sentences as high as 15 years to life in state prison.
If you have questions for our Orange County DUI Lawyers, call our firm at (877) 5682977.
The good news from the winter holiday anti-DUI enforcement period in Orange County is there were no impaired driving related fatalities during that time. The bad news is more suspected drunk or drugged drivers were arrested than the year before. Better those 971 folks (compared with 836 the year before) were stopped before doing serious or deadly damage, but this also proves the showy, highly publicized operations are not achieving their No. 1 stated goal: keeping DUI motorists off roads to begin with.
“Avoid the 38,” the anti-DUI task force composed of 38 Orange County law enforcement agencies, reports its crackdown that relied on sobriety checkpoints, special saturation patrols that focus on streets known for DUIs and routine patrols popped the 971 between 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and Tuesday, Jan. 1.
The task force vows more such operations, which are funded through state and federal grants, will be held during Super Bowl weekend in February and St. Patrick’s Day in March.
Besides “Avoid the 38,” individual police agencies in Orange County issued press releases about their anti-DUI enforcement campaigns, including Costa Mesa Police, which reported no deaths compared to one the previous holiday season and five the year before that, while DUI-injury collisions also dipped. Meanwhile, Newport Beach Police revealed not one arrest was made during its holiday checkpoint.
The California Highway Patrol also reported no deaths on the Orange County roads it patrolled over the long New Year’s holiday, but the CHP did make 71 arrests in this region, compared with 57 during the same holiday period a year before. Of course, with Jan. 1 falling on a Tuesday, the holiday weekend was longer than a year ago, too.
The Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is investigating Sharkeez after Police Chief Ken Small sent a letter to the state department’s district administrator, the Independent reports.
“I believe the ownership and management of the establishment represent, at best, an indifferent attitude toward public safety,” Small wrote.
But Sharkeez ownerÃ‚Â Ron Newman believes the bar is being targeted simply due to its popularity. He told theÃ‚Â Independent, “What happens on the highway we cannot control. We don’t serve anybody that’s overly intoxicated. I can’t tell if you had two or three drinks. If you’re not obviously intoxicated, we can’t tell. If someone is obviously intoxicated, we cut them off.”
On October 29, 2012, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced that they were awarded a $131,439 grant from the State of California for DUI enforcement. The grant will fund:
- Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) training
- DUI Saturation Patrols;
- Court “sting” operations; and
- Stakeout operations for repeat DUI offenders.
If you have any questions for our Orange County DUI Lawyers, call anytime at (877) 568-2977.
Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that Laguna Beach will receive two grants from the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Earlier this year, the police department applied for the grants. The first grant of $90,000 will go toward police officer salary overtime so the department can increase staffing and award officer compensation for drunk driving and traffic safety issues. It will also go to the DUI checkpoint trailer and travel expenses for staff to attend training and courses related to traffic safety issues.
A second grant of $37,000 will go toward overtime for enforcement staff during three DUI checkpoints in 2013 and equipment and supplies needed for the checkpoints.
The grants start Oct. 1 and end Sept. 30 of next year, and grants, plus fees from DUI arrests, and MADD contributions, are a significant source of income for the city of Laguna Beach.
If you have the need for a Laguna Beach DUI Lawyer
, call our office. We know Laguna Beach DUI policies and procedures like nobody else.
One after another, people stepped before the Costa Mesa City Council to decry the blight and lawlessness on tiny Ford Road — prostitutes, thieves, home invaders. What the city needs, they pleaded, is more cops.
Councilman Jim Righeimer, a GOP activist and an architect of the city’s controversial plan to radically slash its workforce, perceived the parade of concerned citizens as the pawns of a police union and its law firm, with its statewide reputation for bare-knuckle tactics.
“This City Council is being held hostage by the police union,” Righeimer railed from his seat at the Aug. 21 meeting. “This council will not be shaken down.”
FOR THE RECORD:
Law firm tactics: An article in the Sept. 16 Section A about negotiating tactics used by the law firm Lackie, Dammeier and McGill on behalf of police unions said the Los Angeles Police Protective League had dropped the firm. The league recently denounced the firm’s tactics, but had not been a client. —
The next afternoon, Righeimer assembled a team of city officials to tour Ford Road and recommend improvements. Afterward, he stopped at a Newport Boulevard pub, Skosh Monahan’s, then climbed into his GMC Yukon and drove home.
Minutes later, a policeman arrived at his door to ask if he’d been drinking. Someone had called 911 to say Righeimer had stumbled out of the pub and swerved his car between lanes.
Righeimer passed the field sobriety test, furnished a $6.47 receipt for two Diet Cokes and wasted no time seizing the political moment. He was being set up, he announced at a press conference.
The 911 caller, it emerged, was a private investigator who worked for the police union’s Upland-based law firm, Lackie, Dammeier & McGill. The firm insists it did not send the investigator to follow Righeimer, and the police union denies involvement.
The Orange County district attorney’s office is now investigating the case, which has thrust Costa Mesa’s protracted city-union battle back into the spotlight. It has also raised scrutiny of a law firm with vast influence in the state and a reputation for aggressive attacks against city halls.
In the wake of the Righeimer incident, several unions — including the Costa Mesa Police Officers’ Assn. and the Los Angeles Police Protective League — have dropped the firm.
The firm advertises itself as “former cops defending current ones,” and its website touts a long list of what it portrays as triumphant contract negotiations with cities on behalf of police-union clients. It has an advertised clientele of more than 120 public safety unions in the state.
Until recently, the website featured a detailed list of “tools” that police associations can employ to push decision-makers “into giving in to your position.”
“The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of, ‘Do as I ask and don’t piss me off,’” the website read.
“Storm city council,” the site suggested, to chastise uncooperative elected leaders. Campaign against them. Send attack mailers. Picket. Take out newspaper ads. Launch websites denouncing the city. Use “every high profile crime” to argue that more cops could have prevented it. Pay for billboards.
“Nothing seems to get more attention than a billboard entering the city limits which reads that crime is up and the City could care less about your safety,” the site said.
The site suggested using “work slowdown” as a tactic, such as “asking for a backup unit on most calls,” as well as “blue flu,” a staged sick-out by police officers. The site also touted the effectiveness of tightly focused attacks.
“Focus on a city manager, councilperson, mayor or police chief and keep the pressure up until that person assures you his loyalty and then move on to the next victim,” the site read.
The firm has since removed this section, saying it was “historical and educational material” misread as tactical advice.
However, critics of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill say the content represented an accurate description of its tactics.
“If you look at their playbook, we have been the victim of almost all of it,” said Montclair City Manager Edward Starr, whose city is in its second year of contract negotiations with police. The city, he said, has spent more than $600,000 defending itself against the law firm.
Rob Pipersky, 59, a Montclair resident and longtime police officer there, said his union is in the grip of Dieter Dammeier and his firm: “They drink the Kool-Aid. They think this guy is the best guy in the world.”
At a meeting earlier this year, Pipersky said, his union discussed launching a recall of city leaders who had resisted union demands.
“I ended up calling them carpetbaggers,” Pipersky said. “I said, ‘You’re a bunch of outsiders coming into my town to overthrow my council and put your people in to give you what you want.’”
He said his union has since barred him from meetings.
Attorney Scott Grossberg said he was hired to defend the city of San Gabriel against what he describes as frivolous lawsuits filed by Dammeier.
In one case last year, Grossberg said, the firm filed a tort claim demanding parking fees its clients incurred during a failed mediation session. It was for $40.
“He doesn’t write a letter,” Grossberg said. “This is what he does. It’s knee-jerk, over-the-top bullying. ‘If you don’t do things my way, you’ll see me in court.’”
He described Dammeier’s tactics as “litigation terrorism,” though within the law.
Buena Park Councilman Fred Smith said when he became mayor in 2010, the city’s police union — represented by Lackie, Dammeier & McGill — objected to his choice for police chief and his insistence on installing cameras in patrol cars.
As he left a party that December, he said, a Buena Park policeman pulled him over and gave him a sobriety test, which he passed.
Though he has no evidence linking the law firm to the incident, he said a police union leader called him later and said, “Have you had enough yet?”
In Costa Mesa, Righeimer, a real estate developer, has been the most visible proponent of the city’s plan to save money by outsourcing hundreds of municipal jobs. The campaign has made Costa Mesa a model for the GOP and Righeimer an object of deep loathing by public employee unions.
In his 2010 campaign for City Council, Righeimer argued that soaring labor costs were pushing the city toward bankruptcy. He publicized the pay of Costa Mesa’s police brass, many of them making more than $200,000.
The unions, in response, publicized Righeimer’s personal financial woes, including liens and debts, which Righeimer says he’s paid off.
The council, on which Righeimer’s bloc enjoys a 4-1 majority, has outsourced the city’s police helicopter program, replaced some sworn police officers with civilians and insisted on a less lucrative pension package for new officers.
At the pub on Aug. 22, Righeimer, who describes himself as an infrequent drinker, said he bought a Diet Coke for himself and one for fellow Councilman Steve Mensinger.
As Righeimer left the pub, a white car without license plates followed his Yukon down the block, surveillance video shows.
“I think he’s DUI,” private investigator Chris Lanzillo told a 911 dispatcher as he followed the councilman. “He’s swerving all over the road. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”
Righeimer said he was given a field sobriety test in front of his three young daughters. He said his wife confronted Lanzillo, who had apparently parked down the block waiting for police to arrive, but he swerved around her and sped away.
Lanzillo says he was on another assignment that afternoon and wasn’t tailing Righeimer.
Dammeier described Lanzillo as “one of many PIs we have used” and said that he was not employed or authorized to conduct surveillance on Righeimer.
“We will not apologize for ‘aggressively’ protecting those that put their lives on the line every day protecting all of us,” the firm said in a statement. “We will continue to fight for our clients using every available legal tool at our disposal.”
Righeimer said he is eager to know what the district attorney’s investigation reveals about
Lanzillo, a former Riverside police officer who claimed in a lawsuit he’d been fired for union activities. His former chief told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that Lanzillo was fired for doing “really bad things.”
Our Orange County DUI Lawyers have learned that the Brea Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols San Juan Capistrano, have not announced the locations of their stops, which run during the same hours: 6 tonight through 2 a.m. Saturday.