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Did You Get a DUI In Escondido? You Need a DUI Attorney!
For clarification, I do not condone drinking and driving. I believe that people who drink and drive should be prosecuted. What I do have a problem with is a police department that holds itself above the law, which is what is happening in the city of Escondido during DUI checkpoints.
I am not of the opinion that if a person breaks some sort of law that that person has no rights whatsoever. Our judicial system is based upon innocent until proven guilty. We have a system that must be followed. There are reasons why people are read Miranda rights. There are reasons why search and seizure is illegal when there is no warrant or reasonable cause. Citizens must abide by the law, and when the law is broken, it is law enforcement’s job to apprehend criminals without breaking laws.
Police departments across the country are well aware that if proper protocol is not followed when apprehending a criminal and/or gathering evidence, that the entire case is in jeopardy and could result in the release of a potentially dangerous criminal.
In order to protect the general public, police departments must do their best to ensure that criminals are prosecuted successfully. If a police department breaks laws in order to enforce laws, this, at least in my opinion, is gross negligence. Police departments that do this put the public at risk and are, essentially, inept in performing its duty.
DUI offenders do have rights. DUI offenders caught in Escondido might actually have more luck than they do rights. This is because the checkpoints in Escondido are conducted with reckless disregard for public safety (quite ironic, no?) as well as disregard to multiple guidelines that must be followed, per the California Supreme Court (Ingersoll v. Palmer, 1987). Many DUI attorneys cite these guidelines on their websites.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Escondido on the evening of a checkpoint, find yourself a DUI attorney and show them this article. The following is a list of guidelines that are broken regularly by the Escondido Police Department:
Fighting a DUI
NO NEUTRAL MATHEMATICAL FORMULA TO SCREEN VEHICLES:
During DUI checkpoints in California, police departments are not able to pick and choose which vehicles are screened. There must be a neutral mathematical formula used, decided upon by a supervisor. This means, for example, that ten vehicles are screened and ten vehicles are allowed to pass, or that every fifth car is stopped, or every sixth car is stopped. Whatever the formula, it must be followed. More importantly, there MUST BE A FORMULA.
The Escondido Police Department has no formula for determining which cars to screen at the majority of checkpoints in Escondido. This is plainly evident by its own news release conveying the results of the checkpoint.
For example, on March 26, 2011, 1205 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and 1198 vehicles were screened.
On March 12, 2011, 818 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and 737 vehicles were screened.
On October 23, 2010, 1593 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and 1450 vehicles were screened.
If you were arrested for a DUI at an Escondido checkpoint, it would be beneficial if your attorney viewed the press releases on the Escondido Police Department’s website to review the numbers.
HIGH LEVEL OF VISIBILITY INCLUDING LIGHTS AND WARNING SIGNS AND PRIMARY CONCERN FOR SAFETY:
The Escondido Police Department does indeed utilize a lighted-sign indicating that there is a checkpoint ahead; however, the police department routinely and conveniently conducts checkpoints in locations where there are significant bends in the road so drivers are unable to see the warning sign. Once the warning sign becomes visible to drivers, the driver is trapped inside the checkpoint, without an escape route.
The DUI checkpoint locations where there are significant bends in the road include (but are not limited to—as the police department may add more locations):
--East Valley Parkway and Washington
--Avenida Del Diablo and Valley Parkway
--Lincoln and Fig
--West Grand Avenue near Spruce Street
--Valley Parkway and Juniper Street
--Oak Hill Drive and San Pasqual Valley Road
If you received a DUI in Escondido at one of these checkpoints, make sure you make mention of this to your attorney.
The Escondido Police Department also conducts DUI checkpoints at unsafe locations. This would include locations that are performed right off of a freeway, near a freeway exit, and just when a highway ends where vehicles travel at high speeds. Not only does this cause traffic to be backed up, but it sometimes results in drivers suddenly breaking or having to make a sudden turn. Combine these factors with the bends in the road, and Escondido Police Department is holding checkpoints, often, with complete disregard to public safety.
Pulled over for turning out of a checkpoint (going home)
BEING PULLED OVER FOR TURNING OUT OF A CHECKPOINT:
An officer must have a reason to pull over a vehicle that turns out of a checkpoint. The reasons can include traffic violations as well as a reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence. If you turned out of a checkpoint and were pulled over by a police officer, resulting in a DUI arrest, you may be under the impression that there was reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
Please discuss this with your attorney because this is a direct result of the warning signs not being present and the locations of the checkpoints. Sometimes vehicles have to make sudden stops or turns simply because the Escondido Police Department conducts the checkpoints in unsafe locations. So it should be important to alert your attorney as to the location and under what circumstances you turned out of the checkpoint, as sometimes the officers have accused people of not using their blinkers, when eye-witness accounts state otherwise. Because officers tell motorists not to talk to demonstrators, the demonstrators are unable to vouch for the people who are wrongfully cited for traffic violations.
Case in point, the below video was taken by a demonstrator at a recent Escondido checkpoint. An officer accused him of jay-walking in a very unfriendly tone. At 12 seconds into the video, you can here the witness from across the street shout, "Oh my God! You are lying!"
Once the officer realizes there are witnesses who are are not afraid to speak up, the officer leaves the demonstrator alone.
Yes, sometimes officers lie...
If you received a DUI in Escondido at a checkpoint or near a checkpoint, it is very important to discuss the above factors with your DUI attorney. One factor alone may or may not make much of a difference in a DUI defense, but combining all of these regulations that are not followed might help.