California Watch: DUI Checkpoints http://californiawatch.org/project/dui-checkpoints/feed en Traffic officials following the few checkpoint rules that exist, auditor finds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/traffic-officials-following-few-checkpoint-rules-exist-auditor-finds-14933 <p>California traffic safety officials have followed the few rules that exist for overseeing sobriety checkpoints set up by hundreds of police departments, the state auditor reported yesterday.</p><p>No federal law or state statute governs what happens at the roadway operations, according to <a href="http://www.bsa.ca.gov/reports/summary/2011-110" target="_blank">the auditor&#39;s report</a>. And the California Office of Traffic Safety is not required to closely monitor what happens at checkpoints it funds, which now number more than 2,000 a year.</p><p>Chris Murphy, the traffic safety office&rsquo;s director, said the audit validates that the state funds lawful, lifesaving checkpoints.</p><p>&ldquo;It speaks volumes to the work that my staff and law enforcement is doing,&rdquo; Murphy said. &ldquo;The checkpoint program has been running very efficiently and effectively.&rdquo;</p><p>Fatalities on California&rsquo;s roadways <a href="http://www.ots.ca.gov/OTS_and_Traffic_Safety/Report_Card.asp" target="_blank">dropped nearly 12 percent</a> from 2009 to 2010, which Murphy partially attributes to checkpoints.</p><p>The traffic safety office spent $16.8 million for police overtime at more than 2,500 operations during the 2010 fiscal year. Auditors noted that those sobriety checkpoints resulted in almost 28,000 citations to unlicensed drivers, compared with roughly 7,000 drunken driving arrests.</p><p>California Watch reported two years ago that sobriety checkpoints were doing more than just taking unlicensed drivers off the road. Police took those motorists&rsquo; cars, too, <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">often impounding them</a> for 30 days.</p><p>With city release fees and tow charges, car owners often had to pay $1,500 or more to retrieve their vehicles. When owners could not afford that price, tow operators typically would sell the cars at lien sales.</p><p>Cities and firms generated an estimated $40 million in revenue from vehicle seizures at checkpoints. The majority of drivers losing their cars were illegal immigrants who are not permitted to have California licenses.</p><p>Auditors document that local governments have used impounds as a cash source through fees, as well as contracts with tow companies that require cities get a cut of car storage charges and lien sales.</p><p>&ldquo;For example, the Los Angeles Police Department collects 7 percent of all gross revenue earned by tow contractors for police-related tows,&rdquo; the report states. &ldquo;Similarly, the cities of Oakland and Fresno receive $40 per towed vehicle as a franchise fee under their tow agreements.&rdquo;</p><p>A <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_353_bill_20110908_enrolled.html" target="_blank">new state law</a>, enacted Jan. 1, restricts police officers&rsquo; authority to impound a car at a checkpoint if the driver&rsquo;s only offense is unlicensed driving.</p><p>The disparity between the numbers of vehicle impounds and drunken driving arrests in recent years doesn&rsquo;t &ldquo;suggest that these checkpoints were performed improperly or are not achieving their intended outcomes,&rdquo; auditors wrote.</p><p>Unlicensed drivers are riskier drivers. A <a href="http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/2011Unlicensed2Kill.pdf" target="_blank">study [PDF]</a> last year by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly a fifth of all fatal car collisions in the United States from 2007 to 2009 involved a driver with a suspended or revoked license or no license at all.</p><p>California&rsquo;s traffic safety office is not required to observe the checkpoints or confirm that data it receives from police departments about the operations is accurate. Murphy said that level of oversight would be logistically impossible.</p><p>Instead, the agency informally has sent two retired police officers to watch 24 checkpoints over the past four years, the report said.</p> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Impounds police Traffic safety DUI Checkpoints Fri, 17 Feb 2012 08:05:03 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 14933 at http://californiawatch.org versageek/Flickr Brown signs bill to reduce checkpoint impounds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/brown-signs-bill-reduce-checkpoint-impounds-13025 <p>The economics of California&rsquo;s sobriety checkpoints will change next year, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation intended to reduce the number of cars police impound at roadway operations.</p><p>More than 100 city and county law enforcement agencies in the state run checkpoints. The operations are designed to target intoxicated motorists.</p><p>But more often, they <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">catch unlicensed drivers</a>, nearly all illegal immigrants, and officers impound their cars for 30 days. This practice generates up to $2,000 in fines and fees per car, totaling tens of millions of dollars a year for tow companies and local governments statewide each year.</p><p>The operations are unlikely to be as profitable going forward.</p><p>On Sunday, Brown authorized <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_353_bill_20110908_enrolled.html" target="_blank">AB 353</a>, which prohibits police at checkpoints from seizing a car solely because the driver is unlicensed.</p><p>The new law &ndash; sponsored by Assemblymen Gilbert Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, and Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa &ndash; instead gives unlicensed motorists time to find a legal driver and avoid impound.</p><p>To get the car released, the unlicensed driver also must get the registered owner&rsquo;s approval.</p><p>If the car remains at the checkpoint when the operation ends, police can have it towed and held for a short time, the bill states.</p><p>Officers maintain the authority to issue written citations for unlicensed driving.</p><p>Vehicle owners still must pay city release fees, plus tow and storage charges to retrieve the cars.&nbsp;Those costs probably will total a few hundred dollars, rather than a few thousand.</p><p>Drivers with suspended or revoked licenses still can lose their cars for 30 days. The legislation applies only to those with no driving certification because they are not eligible.</p><p>Brown vetoed a separate measure, AB 1389, that would have set restrictions on how police run sobriety checkpoints.</p><p>Police officials did not line up to publicly endorse AB 353, nor did they attack it.</p><p>Daniel Fox, a traffic safety prosecutor with the California District Attorneys Association, said he worked with Cedillo&rsquo;s office in amending the bill. Fox said they aimed to give unlicensed drivers a way to avoid impoundment without increasing legal liability for police officers.</p><p>&ldquo;A lot of law enforcement got on board and said, &lsquo;We can support 353,&rsquo; &rdquo; he said, &ldquo;because it tries to strike a balance as best as possible with what is going on.&rdquo;</p><p>Traffic safety advocates were most vocal in opposing the legislation.</p><p>By not seizing cars for 30 days, the state&rsquo;s traffic fatalities will increase because unlicensed drivers are statistically more dangerous, said Gary McDonald, California director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s more of an opportunity for them to go out and be involved in an accident, a hit-and-run,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>California Watch and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley reported early last year that police across the state impounded six cars for every one DUI arrest in 2009 at sobriety checkpoints. Those vehicle seizures brought cities and tow firms an estimated $40 million in revenue.</p><p>An analysis of the bill by the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee credits California Watch&#39;s reporting.</p><p>At least eight cities, including Los Angeles and Oakland, have amended <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/la-becomes-7th-city-alter-impound-practices-9243" target="_blank">their impound policies</a> to reduce checkpoint seizures since 2010. El Monte, a city east of Los Angeles, followed suit this past year, giving unlicensed motorists time to find a licensed driver.</p><p>Capt. Ken Alva, head of patrol services for the El Monte Police Department, said AB 353 wouldn&rsquo;t alter their checkpoints &ndash; except the manpower required.</p><p>During an operation, officers likely will have to keep watch over dozens of cars that previously would have been towed elsewhere quickly.</p><p>&ldquo;That means that we&rsquo;re going to be keeping someone with a badge and a gun over it, and that&rsquo;s going to cause additional costs,&rdquo; Alva said.</p><p>The law takes effect Jan. 1 and therefore won&rsquo;t affect the large number of checkpoints scheduled around the holidays in November and December.</p><p>City records show numerous police departments negotiated towing contracts that give local governments a cut of storage fees or bring in more money when impound numbers increase.</p><p>The city of Escondido received as much as $400,000 a year from the tow firms with which it has contracts, according to finance records.</p><p>Lt. Tom Albergo, head of the Escondido Police Department&rsquo;s traffic division, said he doesn&rsquo;t know how AB 353 might affect the city&rsquo;s tow contracts.</p><p>For years, the city&rsquo;s force set up daytime checkpoints just to check driver&rsquo;s licenses, which violates California law. Escondido police ended that practice in 2010.</p><p>The department intends to follow the new regulations, Albergo said. &ldquo;We will still be doing the operations, because it&rsquo;s really all about educating the public,&rdquo; he said.</p> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoint immigration Impounds Jerry Brown DUI Checkpoints Tue, 11 Oct 2011 07:05:03 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 13025 at http://californiawatch.org San Diego Shooter/Flickr After city scandals, lawmakers crack down on car impounds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/after-city-scandals-lawmakers-crack-down-car-impounds-12591 <p>Bills written to shield illegal immigrants in California from losing their cars to impound have been stalled, vetoed or voted down for years.</p><p>In the past two weeks, however, two such pieces of legislation reached the governor&rsquo;s desk with minimal political scuffling.</p><p>Sobriety checkpoints are intended to target drunken drivers, but in California, the roadway operations catch sober, unlicensed motorists far more often.&nbsp;A majority of these drivers are illegal immigrants.</p><p>Data from the state Office of Traffic Safety shows that at roadway operations during the holidays, <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/year-checkpoint-delivered-thousands-impounds-9482" target="_blank">police impounded six cars</a> for every one DUI arrest made in 2010. The numbers in South Gate, southeast of Los Angeles, were 36 to 1.</p><p>Investigations by reporters and state authorities in the past two years have found officials in Maywood and Bell improperly directing police to seize vehicles for the cash they bring.</p><p>Local corruption was among the most significant reasons why anti-impound bills fared better this legislative session, said Ignacio Hernandez, a lobbyist and Sacramento attorney.</p><p>&ldquo;These smaller cities weren&rsquo;t immune from making some very serious, very bad decisions and some very self-motivated decisions in how they administer their cities,&rdquo; said Hernandez, who worked to support the legislation. &ldquo;And, certainly, checkpoints became part of it.&rdquo;</p><p>Gov. Jerry Brown hasn&rsquo;t signaled whether he will sign or veto <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1351-1400/ab_1389_bill_20110902_amended_sen_v94.html" target="_blank">AB 1389</a> and <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_353_bill_20110908_enrolled.html" target="_blank">AB 353</a>. Elizabeth Ashford, a spokeswoman for the governor, said by e-mail that Brown wouldn&rsquo;t take a side before he takes action on the legislation.</p><p>More than 100 cities in California run sobriety checkpoints, funded by state and federal grants.</p><p>State lawmakers made legal residence in the United States a prerequisite to get a California driver&rsquo;s license in 1993. About a year later, they changed the vehicle code so that police must seize the cars of unlicensed motorists for 30 days.</p><p><a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/behind-checkpoint-controversy-lies-unresolved-license-issue-1099" target="_blank">Those acts</a>, taken together, transformed sobriety checkpoints in dozens of California cities into mass impound operations, collecting thousands of cars a year from illegal immigrant drivers. Local police and transportation officials argue the gain has been safer streets, as uncertified motorists are <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/traffic-safety-enters-checkpoint-impound-debate-11263" target="_blank">statistically more dangerous</a>.</p><p>&quot;Unlicensed drivers (suspended, revoked, or no license) pose a risk of fatal and injury collisions to themselves and other road users comparable to drivers under the influence,&quot; David Ragland, a UC Berkeley public health professor, said in a written statement to California Watch. Fatal car accidents involving unlicensed drivers have declined in California since 2006, an improvement Ragland credits to checkpoint impounds.</p><p>But the gain from impounds, so to speak, also has been to city government and tow company cash flow.</p><p>Thirty-day impounds generated an estimated <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">$40 million statewide</a> in the 2009 fiscal year, reporting by California Watch and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley found. Vehicle seizures have been growing in recent years, as the practice of combining sobriety and driver&#39;s license operations has become standard in the past decade.</p><p>Republican lawmakers have been nearly unanimous in voting against the bills, though not all reject limiting police power to impound.</p><p>&quot;As a property-rights Republican, I want to strike a balance,&quot; Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Fullerton, told the <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/12/EDO71L3EF5.DTL" target="_blank">San Francisco Chronicle</a>.</p><p>The checkpoint bills are companion pieces, though Brown could enact one and reject the other.</p><p>Assemblymen Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, and Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, initially introduced separate measures targeting checkpoint impounds. They joined forces during the past two months and revised their bills to rewrite different parts of the law on vehicle seizures.</p><p>The first, AB 1389, primarily places in statute what a California Supreme Court decision made the law in 1987.</p><p>In the Ingersoll v. Palmer ruling, justices said police must stage DUI checkpoints on roads where drunk driving crashes and arrests are high, and they must give the public 48 hours&#39; notice before starting an operation.</p><p>AB 1389 would not reduce officers&rsquo; authority when it comes to potentially intoxicated drivers.</p><p>However, &ldquo;if the driver does not display objective signs of impairment, the driver would be required to be permitted to drive on without further delay,&rdquo; with few exceptions, <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1351-1400/ab_1389_cfa_20110908_201746_asm_floor.html" target="_blank">an analysis</a> by the Assembly Transportation Committee said.</p><p>AB 353 is far more aggressive legislation.</p><p>If signed into law, it would block cities from combining driver&rsquo;s license checks with sobriety operations. Further, at checkpoints, police would not be allowed to impound a car solely because a driver is unlicensed, and motorists driving illegally would have time to find a licensed driver.</p><p>In cases in which a legal driver cannot be found to remove a car, police still could not impound, only tow away for the night.</p> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Impounds Jerry Brown DUI Checkpoints Wed, 14 Sep 2011 07:05:03 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 12591 at http://californiawatch.org Oran Viriyincy/Flickr Brown may get last word on car impound controversy http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/brown-may-get-last-word-car-impound-controversy-12119 <p>As California&rsquo;s attorney general, Jerry Brown was the first to crack down on questionable car impounds at checkpoints.</p><p>Soon, it appears, the governor also will get the last word on the legality of police seizing vehicles from sober but unlicensed motorists at roadway operations intended to catch drunken drivers.</p><p>The practice has become <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">rampant throughout California</a>, generating tens of millions of dollars in fines and fees for cities and tow companies. Illegal immigrants, unable to obtain a license, make up an overwhelming majority of the motorists who lose cars at checkpoints.</p><p>Drivers who don&rsquo;t have a license or have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked can have their cars impounded for 30 days. The fees and fines that car owners must pay to retrieve their vehicles often reach more than $1,500.</p><p><a href="http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_353_bill_20110616_amended_sen_v98.html" target="_blank">AB 353</a>, intended to prevent many of these impounds, made it to the floor of the state Senate this week. If passed, the legislation goes to Brown to sign or veto.</p><p>The governor has not taken a public position on the bill, written by Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. Elizabeth Ashford, spokeswoman for Brown, said the governor doesn&#39;t comment on legislation before he takes action on it.</p><p>Brown repeatedly has overseen investigations related to checkpoint impounds in recent years.</p><p>At his direction, the California attorney general&rsquo;s Civil Rights Enforcement Section <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/232001-calif-ag-final-report-maywood-police-dept.html" target="_blank">examined such seizures</a> in the city of Maywood, east of Los Angeles. Unlicensed drivers were a revenue source for the police department, according to the attorney general&rsquo;s 2009 report. The specifics:</p><blockquote><p>At minimum, supervisors put pressure on officers to identify and cite unlicensed drivers and to impound their vehicles. But it was the Department&rsquo;s decision to set up traffic checkpoints that created great controversy. The traffic checkpoints commenced in 1999 and continued through sometime between late 2003 and 2004. Witnesses estimated the number of vehicles towed per night at these checkpoints to be in the 70 to 100 range. This estimate has been verified through documents obtained from the City.</p></blockquote><p>Next to Maywood, officials in the city of Bell also were targeting unlicensed drivers&rsquo; cars for impound. The seizures brought in cash used to pay exorbitant, and potentially criminal, salaries, the Los Angeles Times reported last year.&nbsp;Brown also launched a probe into the Bell scandal.</p><p>Police in dozens of California cities <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/year-checkpoint-delivered-thousands-impounds-9482" target="_blank">impound cars en mass</a> at roadway operations.</p><p>There were six impounds for every one DUI arrest at holiday sobriety checkpoints during the 2010 fiscal year, according to data from the Safe Transportation Research &amp; Education Center at UC Berkeley. The center operates a grant program funding the checkpoints for the California Office of Traffic Safety.</p><p>Thirty-five cities that year ran checkpoints at which police seized 20 or more cars per drunken driver arrest, the data shows.</p><p>AB 353 attacks checkpoint impounds from several directions.&nbsp;It prohibits cities from having operations that focus equally on valid driver&rsquo;s licenses and intoxication. California law already prohibits license-only checkpoints.</p><p>With few exceptions, police could seize a car only when the motorist is suspected of a crime beyond unlicensed driving. Local governments would be protected from liability for damage or loss when they park, rather than tow, a vehicle.</p><p>And on occasions when an unlicensed driver&rsquo;s car is taken to an impound lot, the legislation requires the vehicle be available for release the next day.</p> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Impounds Jerry Brown DUI Checkpoints Wed, 17 Aug 2011 07:05:03 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 12119 at http://californiawatch.org Neon Tommy/Flickr Traffic safety enters checkpoint impound debate http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/traffic-safety-enters-checkpoint-impound-debate-11263 <p>Debate over impounds at California&rsquo;s sobriety checkpoints has focused on immigration, civil rights and government corruption for much of the past year.</p><p>Few of the arguments have dealt with traffic safety.</p><p>That is likely to change today, when the state Senate Public Safety Committee considers two pieces of legislation (<a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1351-1400/ab_1389_bill_20110519_amended_asm_v96.html" target="_blank">AB 1389</a> and <a href="http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_0351-0400/ab_353_bill_20110616_amended_sen_v98.html" target="_blank">AB 353</a>) intended to curb vehicle seizures at the roadway operations.</p><p>In recent years, police at <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/year-checkpoint-delivered-thousands-impounds-9482" target="_blank">checkpoints have seized</a> roughly six times as many cars &ndash; many from sober, unlicensed drivers &ndash; as they have made drunken driving arrests. The overwhelming majority of unlicensed drivers in California are illegal immigrants who cannot obtain a license.</p><p>Don Rosenberg, whose son died in November in a vehicle collision with an unlicensed driver, plans to testify at the committee hearing. He hopes to push lawmakers to consider traffic fatality numbers over other concerns.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re driving without a license, the car shouldn&rsquo;t be impounded,&rdquo; Rosenberg said. &ldquo;It should be confiscated.&rdquo;</p><p>Rosenberg cites a 2000 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety as evidence that motorists without licenses pose a significant risk, enough to justify vehicle seizure.</p><p>The report, &ldquo;Unlicensed to Kill,&rdquo; analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data and has been the <a href="http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/unlicensed2kill.pdf" target="_blank">primary source document [PDF]</a> for those in support of California&rsquo;s impound law.</p><p>&ldquo;Compared with licensed drivers, unlicensed drivers are 4.9 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash; 3.7 times more likely to drive while impaired; and 4.4 times more likely to be in hit-and-run crashes,&rdquo; David Ragland, a UC Berkeley public health professor, <a href="http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2011/06/15/sobriety-checkpoints-under-attack-in-ab-1389/" target="_blank">wrote last month</a>&nbsp;in summarizing the AAA study&rsquo;s findings.</p><p>The data documents collisions from 1993 to 1997. Unlicensed drivers were involved in 3.7 percent of fatal accidents during that period.</p><p>Ragland is director of the <a href="http://www.safetrec.berkeley.edu/" target="_blank">Safe Transportation Research &amp; Education Center</a>, which operates a checkpoint grants program for the California Office of Traffic Safety. The program pays the expense of running roadway operations in more than 100 cities.</p><p>Separate from his strong support for checkpoints and impounds, Ragland also has argued that blocking illegal immigrants from securing licenses poses its own risk, leaving millions of motorists without instruction and certification.</p><p>&ldquo;With respect to traffic safety, I think there&rsquo;s no doubt that being able to license a population will improve traffic safety,&rdquo; Ragland said in an interview last year.</p><p>Much of the controversy over checkpoint impounds has come from the fact that seized cars generate <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">tens of millions of dollars</a> a year for cities and tow firms. In the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/bell/" target="_blank">city of Bell</a>, impounds helped fund huge, possibly illegal, salaries for top city officials.</p><p>State law mandates that when a motorist is caught driving without a license, his vehicle shall be impounded for 30 days. Storage fees alone regularly accrue to more than $1,200, too much for many car owners to pay.</p><p>The length of impoundment is part of the reason why the AAA study&rsquo;s authors think the penalty works. To quote:</p><blockquote><p>Vehicle impoundment in California is for a period of 30 days, but the analyses ... were on one year&rsquo;s worth of citations and crashes. Therefore, the benefits of vehicle impoundment are likely to result not just from diminished driving during the 30-day impoundment period but from diminished driving and/or more cautious driving during the 11 months following vehicle impoundment.</p></blockquote><p>The report, however, acknowledges impounds are an imperfect deterrent.</p><blockquote><p>Although the results of California&rsquo;s vehicle impoundment program are impressive, it should also be noted that during a one-year follow-up period, many unlicensed, suspended, and revoked drivers whose vehicles had been impounded for 30 days continued to drive; continued to be convicted of unlicensed driving and driving with a suspended or revoked license; and continued to be involved in crashes.</p></blockquote> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Impounds DUI Checkpoints Tue, 05 Jul 2011 07:05:05 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 11263 at http://californiawatch.org San Diego Shooter/Flickr Lawmakers move toward curbing checkpoint impounds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/lawmakers-move-toward-curbing-checkpoint-impounds-10538 <p>Over the past year, a half dozen California cities that impounded hundreds of cars driven by unlicensed drivers stopped at sobriety checkpoints have moved to end the&nbsp;lucrative practice.</p><p>Law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles and Oakland police departments, began <a href="http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/oakland-joins-cities-won-t-impound-dui-checkpoints-8262" target="_blank">providing these motorists</a>, nearly all of them illegal immigrants, time to find a licensed driver to legally remove their vehicle from the checkpoint stop.</p><p>Now, state lawmakers are deciding whether to make such changes mandatory for all California police departments.</p><p>The state Assembly on Friday easily passed <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/postquery?bill_number=ab_1389&amp;sess=CUR&amp;house=B&amp;author=allen" target="_blank">AB 1389</a>, which contains a host of provisions to curb checkpoint impounds. The bill, authored by Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, is headed to the state Senate&rsquo;s rules committee to be taken up next week. The measure passed the Assembly with a 54-22 vote.</p><p>An analysis of the legislation written by the Assembly Transportation Committee bases most of its arguments on reporting by California Watch and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, which <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">examined vehicle seizures</a> at sobriety checkpoints a year ago.</p><p>Our reporting found police departments across the state had impounded seven cars for every drunken driving arrest made at the checkpoints<strong> </strong>during the 2009 fiscal year. Further, the seizures had turned checkpoints into moneymakers for local governments.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1351-1400/ab_1389_cfa_20110525_163701_asm_floor.html" target="_blank">legislative analysis</a> shows the bill is intended to do two things:</p><p>&bull; Ensure checkpoints focus on drunken drivers. It would reaffirm<strong> </strong>court-ordered requirement that law enforcement departments choose checkpoint locations to target intersections with &ldquo;a high incidence of DUI arrests or a high volume of DUI-related accidents,&rdquo; the analysis states.</p><p>&bull; Provide unlicensed motorists caught at checkpoints an opportunity to find a legal driver and avoid impoundment. Police would still be permitted to seize cars when drivers are intoxicated, have revoked or suspended licenses, flee from officers, or the car serves as evidence of a crime (other than unlicensed driving).</p><p>California Watch&rsquo;s reporting documented how revenues from checkpoint impounds provide a tidy profit for cities, bringing in more revenue that it takes to operate the checkpoints.</p><p>This finding was separately confirmed by the Los Angeles Times&rsquo; <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/bell/" target="_blank">investigation of corruption</a> in the city of Bell. Officials there used impound cash to help fund their swollen salaries. Times reporters discovered the city manager&rsquo;s total yearly income was $1.5 million.</p><p>The state Office of Traffic Safety pays out millions of dollars in grants each year to cover police officer overtime at checkpoints, the main expense of the operations.</p><p>When officers seize a vehicle from an unlicensed driver, state law currently requires that the car be held for 30 days. Car owners must pay the city an impound release fee to retrieve their mode of transportation. That charge is frequently more than $100; a few cities charge more than $300.</p><p>But government charges are the smallest part of the bill.</p><p>Tow firms charge daily storage fees that, over the course of a 30-day impound, become a $1,500 expense for owners if they want their car back. If they do not, or cannot afford the tab, the firms can auction the vehicle.</p><p>Cities contract with tow operators and, in recent years, have increasingly required a cut of this impound revenue. For example, the city of Escondido, situated north of San Diego, collects <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/97179-escondido-towcontracts.html" target="_blank">a combined $400,000 a year</a> from four tow firms receiving city business, contract records show.</p><p>Immigrant advocates allege that some police agencies target Hispanic communities to increase impound numbers. Law enforcement and state officials strongly deny any motivation besides improving public safety.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t have any evidence of that at all,&rdquo; Chris Murphy, the state&rsquo;s traffic safety director, <a href="http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110522/WIRE/110529872?Title=Allen-bill-would-restrict-vehicle-seizures-at-checkpoints&amp;tc=ar" target="_blank">told the Associated Press</a> last month.</p><p>So far, AB 1389 has met little opposition from police departments and unions.</p><p>The Los Angeles County Sheriff&rsquo;s Department has said the proposed law change would not significantly affect its roadway operations.</p><p>&ldquo;Impounding cars has never been a priority for the sheriff&#39;s department,&rdquo; Steve Whitmore, a department spokesman, <a href="http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_18091059" target="_blank">said in an interview</a> with the Pasadena Star-News.</p><p>However, numbers on checkpoint results suggest otherwise.</p><p>At holiday sobriety checkpoints last fiscal year, the sheriff&rsquo;s office impounded 22 cars for every DUI arrest, according to data from the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at&nbsp;UC Berkeley. Deputies cited 2,444 unlicensed drivers.</p><p>The research center runs California&rsquo;s largest checkpoint grant program, funneling state and federal traffic safety cash to fund operations during holiday periods.</p><p>Los Angeles sheriff&rsquo;s deputies were hardly alone in the disparity between impounds and drunken driving arrests.</p><p>Before reforming its impound policy last year, the Baldwin Park Police Department seized 26 cars per DUI arrest at holiday checkpoints. The rate in South Gate was 36 cars for every one drunken driver.</p><p>The Escondido Police Department seized 181 cars, a number seven times larger than the 23 drunken driving arrests made. The data shows officers cited 136 unlicensed drivers, likely all illegal immigrants.</p> Public Safety Daily Report Bell checkpoints Illegal immigrants Impounds DUI Checkpoints Wed, 01 Jun 2011 07:05:10 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 10538 at http://californiawatch.org Ulina_C/istockphoto.com Like Bell and Maywood, Montebello reaps funds from car seizures http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/bell-and-maywood-montebello-reaps-funds-car-seizures-9989 <p>Montebello&rsquo;s financial story, though just starting to publicly unfold, seems to be following a narrative similar to that of two other cities east of Los Angeles: Bell and Maywood.</p><p>It&rsquo;s short on cash and has pulled restricted redevelopment dollars into the general fund. Further, officials recently discovered <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/02/montebello-off-the-books-bank-accounts.html" target="_blank">two &quot;off the books&quot;</a> bank accounts through which more than $1 million in taxpayer money had moved through, the Los Angeles Times has reported.</p><p>And, like its two neighbors, Montebello police have aggressively impounded cars, creating a revenue source.</p><p>John Chiang, the California state controller, last week <a href="http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site205/2011/0421/20110421_035000_Montebello%20original%20signed%20by.pdf" target="_blank">ordered a full audit [PDF]</a> of Montebello&rsquo;s finances. The city is months late in filing its annual report to the state, one of the reasons Chiang believes earlier financial statements are &ldquo;false, incomplete or incorrect,&rdquo; the controller wrote in an April 21 letter.</p><p>In the coming months, state auditors will explore every dollar that has moved in and out of Montebello&rsquo;s accounts.</p><p>Vehicle seizures will certainly be part of the mix.</p><p>At holiday sobriety checkpoints alone last fiscal year, Montebello police officers impounded more than 100 vehicles for every one drunken driving arrest. The statewide average was six seizures per arrest, according to data from the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley. The center operates a grant program funding the checkpoints for the California Office of Traffic Safety.</p><p>Officers failed to conduct a single field sobriety test during four out of six roadway operations in Montebello last year.</p><p>Last year, an investigation by California Watch and the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program found that sobriety checkpoints had become <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">a significant cash source</a> for local governments and tow firms. The drivers most often losing their cars are illegal immigrants, who cannot legally obtain a license.</p><p>Here is what we discovered about Montebello during the 2008-09 fiscal year:</p><blockquote><p>In Los Angeles County, the city of Montebello requires its tow operator to increase its cut of impound revenue when the police department seizes a higher volume of cars. Tow company Helms and Hill Inc. pays Montebello $200 per tow when officers order more than 151 cars hauled away each month, the city&rsquo;s finance records show.</p><p>Montebello&rsquo;s DUI checkpoints rank among California&rsquo;s least effective at getting drunks off the road. Last year, officers there failed to conduct a single field sobriety test at three of the city&rsquo;s five roadway operations, state records show.</p><p>Montebello collected upward of $95,000 during the last fiscal year from checkpoints, including grant money for police overtime.</p></blockquote><p>Bell and Maywood had their share of money woes before their city governments imploded.</p><p>Maywood struggled to purchase insurance coverage a year ago and dissolved most of its services, outsourcing its affairs to Bell. This action followed a 2009 report from the California Attorney General&rsquo;s Office finding serious civil rights violations by the Maywood Police Department, including the seizure of more than 17,000 vehicles from 2002 to 2007.</p><p>The city collected at least $200 per car, state investigators found. <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/86265-maywoodagreportfull.html" target="_blank">The report</a> explored the motivation and consequences of the effort:</p><blockquote><p>This revenue appears to have been the primary motivation for impounding such an extraordinary number of vehicles. Enforcement priorities that are motivated by the desire to raise revenue for a municipality, however, may result in the redeployment of existing police resources, thereby making it increasingly difficult to address more serious crime problems. And, where an enforcement priority is motivated by the desire to raise revenue, allegations of corruption may arise, as occurred here.</p></blockquote><p>Shortly after Bell took over services for Maywood, the Los Angeles Times exposed the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/local/bell/" target="_blank">massively swollen salaries</a> being paid to Bell&rsquo;s top officials. Several of those officials now face criminal prosecution. (That reporting won the Times won a <a href="http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2011-Public-Service" target="_blank">Pulitzer Prize for public service</a> last week.)</p><p>Those salaries and benefits were partially funded by illegal taxes and impounded cars &ndash; with tow fees generating more than $700,000 per year.</p><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><div><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fcaliforniawatch.org%2Fnode%2F9989&amp;layout=standard&amp;show_faces=true&amp;width=450&amp;action=recommend&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;height=80" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; width: 400px; height: 80px;"></iframe><script type="text/javascript"> tweetmeme_source = 'californiawatch'; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script></div> Public Safety Daily Report Bell checkpoints Impounds Montebello DUI Checkpoints Mon, 25 Apr 2011 07:05:06 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 9989 at http://californiawatch.org Oran Viriyincy/Flickr 'Year of the checkpoint' delivered thousands of impounds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/year-checkpoint-delivered-thousands-impounds-9482 <p>California traffic safety officials declared 2010 the &ldquo;year of the checkpoint,&rdquo; and they delivered on that pledge.</p><p>Police agencies ran 1,050 of the state-funded roadway sobriety operations just during the holidays (which include Christmas, New Year&rsquo;s, the Super Bowl, St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day and Labor Day) last fiscal year. That is nearly twice as many holiday checkpoints as law enforcement ran the previous year. In all, the California Office of Traffic Safety <a href="http://www.ots.ca.gov/OTS_and_Traffic_Safety/Moving_Forward_2010.asp" target="_blank">planned to operate</a> more than 2,500 such operations in 2010.</p><p>And while the checkpoints are ostensibly intended to snare drunken drivers, officers impounded six cars for every one DUI arrest made, according to data from the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley. The center operates a grant program funding the checkpoints for the California Office of Traffic Safety.</p><p>Vehicle seizures totaled 17,419 last fiscal year. <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">An investigation</a> by California Watch and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley found most of the motorists losing their cars at the operations were sober, unlicensed illegal immigrants.</p><p>Unlike in previous years, the most recent data documents how many unlicensed drivers police encountered during the operations. Under state law, motorists who don&rsquo;t have a license or who have had their driving privileges suspended or revoked can have their cars impounded for 30 days. The fees and fines that car owners must pay to retrieve their vehicle often reach more than $1,500.</p><p>Police cited 12,867 unlicensed drivers during the 2010 fiscal year, according to the data. Not every one of those motorists lost their cars, but the numbers still indicate that illegal immigrants might have accounted for as much as 70 percent of vehicle seizures at DUI checkpoints</p><p>Impounds have become a revenue source for cities in recent years.</p><p>Local governments often charge unlicensed drivers a fine to get their vehicles released from impound &ndash; on average more than $150, finance records show. Cities, increasingly, also get a cut of the fees that tow operators charge vehicle owners, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.</p><p>However, seven California police agencies have altered their checkpoint policies in recent months to try to reduce impounds.</p><p>Here is a breakdown of last fiscal year&rsquo;s holiday checkpoint results for<strong>&nbsp;</strong>six of the seven cities aiming to shrink the disparity between DUI arrests and vehicle seizures.</p><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width: 549px;" width="412"><tbody><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Agency</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">DUI arrests</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Unlicensed cited</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Impounds</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Los Angeles Police Department</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">230</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">425</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">1,008</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Oakland Police Department</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">24</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">28</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">50</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">San Jose Police Department</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">100</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">342</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">335</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Baldwin Park Police Department</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">25</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">547</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">670</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Berkeley Police Department</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">2</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">3</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">12</span></p></td></tr><tr><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 249px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Coachella (Riverside County Sheriff)</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">24</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 126px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">33</span></p></td><td nowrap="nowrap" style="width: 86px; height: 16px;"><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">18</span></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse;">Cathedral City also altered its policies to limit impoundment of unlicensed drivers at checkpoints but did not operate any holiday checkpoints in fiscal 2010.</span></p><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><div><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fcaliforniawatch.org%2Fnode%2F9482&amp;layout=standard&amp;show_faces=true&amp;width=450&amp;action=recommend&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;height=80" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; width: 400px; height: 80px;"></iframe><script type="text/javascript"> tweetmeme_source = 'californiawatch'; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script></div> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Illegal immigrants impound DUI Checkpoints Mon, 28 Mar 2011 07:05:14 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 9482 at http://californiawatch.org Ulina_C/istockphoto.com ACLU: Local taxpayers paying for federal immigration enforcement http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/aclu-local-taxpayers-paying-federal-immigration-enforcement-8711 <p>Police and sheriff&#39;s departments are spending local taxpayer money to enforce federal immigration laws, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.</p><p>In a report released today, titled &ldquo;Costs and Consequences: The High Price of Policing Immigrant Communities,&rdquo; the ACLU runs <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/69965-cost-and-consequences-aclu-of-northern-california.html" target="_blank">several dollars-and-cents equations [PDF]</a> on what particular counties and cities are spending to arrest, detain and prosecute illegal immigrants.</p><p>Many cases involving this population begin as minor traffic violations before growing into questions of legal residency. Therefore, the organization argues, law enforcement agencies can reduce the number of non-criminal illegal immigrants they pay to hold by not focusing officers on violations like driving without a valid license. (Disclosure: The report also cites California Watch&rsquo;s <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">past reporting</a> on vehicle impounds at sobriety checkpoints.)</p><p>The bigger question of whether California&rsquo;s local police will enforce immigration law has already been answered.</p><p>Ninety percent of the state&rsquo;s counties have formally partnered with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement through the <a href="http://www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/sc-activated.pdf" target="_blank">&ldquo;Secure Communities&rdquo; program [PDF] </a>to check if inmates are legal residents. All but six rural counties (Del Norte, Siskiyou, Trinity, Lassen, Sierra and Alpine) have hooked into the Enforcement Case Tracking System, a central database of federal immigration records.</p><p>The database allows local police to check inmates&rsquo; legal status by running their fingerprints. When the system makes a match, officers learn a suspect&rsquo;s entire documented immigration history. They also learn whether ICE wants to place a &ldquo;hold&rdquo; on the suspect, which requires the police agency to detain the individual until immigration agents can take custody.</p><p>These holds, and the related expense, are among the main concerns the ACLU discusses in its report. It states:</p><blockquote><p>ICE provides limited reimbursement only for immigrant detainees who have been convicted of one felony or two misdemeanor offenses and who are held for at least 4 consecutive days. Therefore, available reimbursements do not cover the actual costs of holding pre-conviction immigration detainees. In Sacramento County, screening and arraignment, including pretrial jail booking and incarceration, averaged $1,948 per arrestee in 2005 and 2006. Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County estimates a cost of approximately $100 per day to hold inmates and charges $250 for booking individuals in its facilities. While localities expect to cover these hefty costs for most of their inmates, agencies that choose to respond to ICE detainers for inmates not convicted of a felony (or two misdemeanors) must bear the additional cost.</p></blockquote><p>Partnerships like Secure Communities remove dangerous offenders who aren&rsquo;t allowed to be in the United States, no matter who pays. To that point, in a <a href="http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1101/110113sacramento.htm" target="_blank">press release</a> last month, ICE announced in the previous year the program led to the deportation of 192 illegal immigrants from Sacramento County who&rsquo;d been convicted of &ldquo;serious or violent climes, such as murder, sexual assault and robbery.&rdquo;</p><p>Of course, local agencies ensnare a large number of non-criminal illegal immigrants, too.</p><p>Recent reporting by the <a href="http://fcir.org/2011/01/31/security-breach/" target="_blank">Florida Center for Investigative Reporting</a> found that 42 percent of the individuals detained through Secure Communities in Florida had no criminal convictions.</p><p>The ACLU of Northern California&rsquo;s report tells the stories of several individuals, including a legal citizen, detained in the course of local immigration enforcement. However, this examination separates itself from similar efforts by assessing the monetary impact on public safety agencies.</p><p>&ldquo;We wanted to highlight the opportunity to save these scarce and important public safety resources by showing alternative practices to a whole range of decisions that are made in the day-to-day life of a law enforcement officer,&rdquo; said Julia Mass, the report&rsquo;s co-author and a staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California.</p><p>Police departments can reduce the number of non-criminal immigrants they detain, the report contends, even while teaming with ICE.</p><p>Among the anecdotes and case studies in the report, the ACLU looked at police efforts in Sacramento County to reduce the number of arrests for driving without a license. In 2008, sheriff&rsquo;s deputies made more than 600 such arrests, referred to as &ldquo;VC 12500&rdquo; based on the statute&rsquo;s vehicle code number; in 2010 police cited 185.</p><p>&ldquo;The county&rsquo;s notable decrease of VC 12500 arrests from an average of 503 per year between 2002 and 2009 saved the county and its tax payers over $168,000,&rdquo; the report said. &ldquo;Citing and releasing all VC 12500 violations in 2010 would have saved the County an additional $95,000.&rdquo;</p><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><div><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fcaliforniawatch.org%2Fnode%2F8711&amp;layout=standard&amp;show_faces=true&amp;width=450&amp;action=recommend&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;height=80" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; width: 400px; height: 80px;"></iframe><script type="text/javascript"> tweetmeme_source = 'californiawatch'; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script></div> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Illegal immigrants immigration DUI Checkpoints Wed, 16 Feb 2011 08:06:03 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 8711 at http://californiawatch.org Duffman/Wikimedia Commons Cities turning against 30-day impounds http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/cities-turning-against-30-day-impounds-7414 <p>The San Jose Police Department last week joined a small, but growing, list of law enforcement agencies moving to change their policies to avoid impounding unlicensed drivers&rsquo; cars for a month.</p><p>California law allows police to seize cars driven by motorists with a suspended or revoked license &ndash; or with no license at all. And if officers impound those cars, the laws says the vehicles shall be held for 30 days &ndash; raking up thousands of dollars in fines and fees per car, paid to cities and tow companies.</p><p>A majority of the drivers losing their cars are illegal immigrants who cannot legally obtain a driver&rsquo;s license.</p><p>The result has been <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">tens of thousands of vehicles</a> impounded across California each year. This phenomenon has often turned patrol officers into tow dispatchers and sobriety checkpoints into mass impoundments.</p><p>Immigrant rights groups have vigorously lobbied cities to soften impound policies.</p><p>These groups started scoring victories a year ago, when the San Francisco Police Department began granting unlicensed motorists a 20-minute reprieve to find someone to legally move their cars.</p><p>The city of Baldwin Park <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;cd=9&amp;ved=0CFIQFjAI&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.baldwinpark.com%2Findex.php%3Foption%3Dcom_docman%26task%3Ddoc_download%26gid%3D1017&amp;ei=hBUFTeLjMpGWsgON4YnRDQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNH0r2UAXa3293GxpOrGQNC9efAWiw" target="_blank">followed suit [PDF]</a> in October with a different approach.</p><p>When police there catch an unlicensed driver, officers are still directed to cite the motorist and tow the car but not to impound. Instead, the car owner will be able to retrieve the vehicle the next day so long as they have a legal driver.</p><p>At sobriety checkpoints in 2009, Baldwin Park police were among California&rsquo;s most prolific impounders, seizing 48 cars per operation, data from the state Office of Traffic Safety shows.</p><p>As of November, the Berkeley Police Department also took on a policy of tow but don&rsquo;t impound.</p><p>&ldquo;This policy will prevent those who simply cannot get a driver&rsquo;s license, in many cases due to their immigration status, from having their vehicles impounded,&rdquo; Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz wrote in a memo to city employees, as quoted by the <a href="http://www.insidebayarea.com/my-town/ci_16587514" target="_blank">Berkeley Voice</a>.</p><p>The San Jose&rsquo;s policy change &ndash; still under legal review &ndash; will incorporate parts of all the above changes, said Sgt. Ronnie Lopez, a police spokesman.</p><p>Unlicensed motorists cited for non-hazardous violations would have a chance to find a legal driver to remove their car. &ldquo;Or, if worst comes to worst and it&rsquo;s obstructing a roadway or for some reason we have to tow it, we&rsquo;d like to tow it without having the 30-day impound,&rdquo; Lopez said.</p><p>The police department is motivated in large part by the logistical challenges impounds present. As the San Jose Mercury News <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_16810554" target="_blank">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Police statistics show that about 80 cars a week are towed from unlicensed drivers and held for the mandated month long impound, often ending up abandoned for good. (San Jose Acting Police Chief Chris) Moore said the policy was taking up a lot of officer time &ndash; up to an hour a tow &ndash; and not slowing the flow of unlicensed people behind the wheel. Many buy cheap cars, according to police, and when they lose them to the impound, they buy another.</p><p>&lsquo;This is by no means a change that allows people to drive without a valid license. That is still illegal,&rsquo; Moore added. &lsquo;But the intent of the tow policy was to remove those drivers from the road, and the problem is that it&#39;s not doing that.&rsquo;</p></blockquote><p>Until two years ago, officers potentially faced legal liability if they did not impound an unlicensed driver&rsquo;s car.</p><p>In 2004, a California Highway Patrol officer arrested Scott St. Pierre for driving under the influence and for driving with a suspended license, <a href="http://www.lexisone.com/lx1/caselaw/freecaselaw?action=OCLGetCaseDetail&amp;format=FULL&amp;sourceID=bcddi&amp;searchTerm=eTHj.CCXa.UYGO.hbYO&amp;searchFlag=y&amp;l1loc=FCLOW" target="_blank">court records</a> show. The CHP had St. Pierre&rsquo;s car stored, not impounded. Just hours after being released from jail, St. Pierre was again driving his car and caused a fatal accident that killed another motorist, Jerry Walker.</p><p>Walker&rsquo;s family sued the highway patrol, arguing the agency failed to follow state law and impound the car for 30 days. In 2008, a state appellate court ruled that CHP officers had discretion on whether to seize cars in those situations.</p><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><div><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fcaliforniawatch.org%2Fnode%2F7414&amp;layout=standard&amp;show_faces=true&amp;width=450&amp;action=recommend&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;height=80" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; width: 400px; height: 80px;"></iframe><script type="text/javascript"> tweetmeme_source = 'californiawatch'; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script></div> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints DUI Illegal immigrants Impounds DUI Checkpoints Mon, 13 Dec 2010 08:05:20 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 7414 at http://californiawatch.org Oran Viriyincy/Flickr Checkpoint impounds increase during holidays http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/checkpoint-impounds-increase-during-holidays-7178 <p>Along with lights displays, sales on electronics and good cheer, in California the winter holidays bring a slew of sobriety checkpoints.</p><p>The California Office of Traffic Safety is wrapping up its &ldquo;year of the checkpoint,&rdquo; during which it funded a record 2,500 such operations. Starting in two weeks, several dozen of the state&rsquo;s police agencies will set up roadway inspections night after night &ndash; advertised primarily as checks for drunken drivers.</p><p>More often, though, the checkpoints catch unlicensed drivers, who lose their cars to month-long impounds. A majority of those drivers are illegal immigrants, <a href="http://californiawatch.org/public-safety/car-seizures-dui-checkpoints-prove-profitable-cities-raise-legal-questions" target="_blank">reporting by California Watch found.</a></p><p>The holiday checkpoint program, called Sobriety Checkpoint Mini-Grants, has <a href="http://www.ots.ca.gov/Media_and_Research/Press_Room/2010/doc/2011_Grants_BY_REGION.xls" target="_blank">$5.3 million to spend [XLS]</a> this fiscal year, much of it paying police officer overtime at operations in December and January.</p><p>Critics of this activity contend the car seizures are unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment (protection against unlawful search and seizure) and the Fifth Amendment (which promises due process).</p><p>That legal question is now before the 9<sup>th</sup> U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering an appeal in the federal lawsuit Salazar v. Maywood.</p><p>When police encounter unlicensed drivers, <a href="http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc14602_6.htm" target="_blank">state law stipulates</a> that if the officer chooses to impound the car, it shall be held for 30 days. This applies to motorists with suspended and revoked licenses, as well as those who do not qualify for a driver&rsquo;s license.</p><p>The California Highway Patrol and several cities and counties are defendants in the lawsuit. The government agencies argue the impounds are penalties for a criminal offense, and therefore car owners are not subject to Fourth Amendment protection.</p><p>A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case on Nov. 4.</p><p>Judging only by the discussion (audio available <a href="http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_subpage.php?pk_id=0000006533" target="_blank">here</a>), California&rsquo;s checkpoint impounds are likely to continue legally.</p><p>The session began with Judge Mary Schroeder questioning the basis of the lawsuit. From there, the judges probed Donald Cook, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, about why it wasn&rsquo;t legal and reasonable for police to take unlicensed drivers&rsquo; vehicles.</p><p>&ldquo;What is supposed to happen?&rdquo; Schroeder asked. &ldquo;Somebody&rsquo;s out there driving without any license and they get stopped and they have no license at all. Is the police officer supposed to send them home, send them off to drive without any license?&rdquo;</p><p>Cook responded that officers certainly are permitted, in many instances, to take an unlicensed driver&rsquo;s vehicle. At issue is whether they are permitted to hold those cars for 30 days, generating about $1,500 in fees and fines for the vehicle owners.</p><p>The checkpoint impounds last year netted an estimated $40 million for California cities and tow companies, California Watch found.</p><p>In the wake of Bell&rsquo;s salary scandal, police officials there <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/05/local/la-me-bell-impounds-20100906" target="_blank">admitted to setting quotas</a> for vehicle impounds, raising more than $750,000 a year.</p><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p><div><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fcaliforniawatch.org%2Fnode%2F7178&amp;layout=standard&amp;show_faces=true&amp;width=450&amp;action=recommend&amp;colorscheme=light&amp;height=80" style="border: medium none; overflow: hidden; width: 400px; height: 80px;"></iframe><script type="text/javascript"> tweetmeme_source = 'californiawatch'; </script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script></div> Public Safety Daily Report checkpoints Illegal immigrants Impounds police DUI Checkpoints Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:05:11 +0000 Ryan Gabrielson 7178 at http://californiawatch.org San Diego Shooter/Flickr Checkpoint grants help cover police overtime http://californiawatch.org/data/checkpoint-grants-help-cover-police-overtime <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script><script type="text/javascript" src="/files/data/resnick/jquery.tablesorter.min.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> $(document).ready(function() { // call the tablesorter plugin $("table").tablesorter(); }); </script><p>Local governments received grants for drunken driving enforcement, which pay police officer overtime at sobriety checkpoints and totaled $34 million, during fiscal year 2008-09 from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The funds come from money the U.S. Department of Transportation provides to the state for roadway safety. The grants detailed below pay for checkpoints year-round. Cities and counties can also receive separate grants to fund operations during holiday periods, administered by an office at UC Berkeley.&nbsp;Readers can sort by clicking on any category header below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><table class="tablesorter" id="table_ots_ckpt"><thead><tr><th>AGENCY</th><th>REGION</th><th>PROGRAM NAME</th><th>GRANT AMT</th><th>YEAR</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Albany</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$24,106.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Anaheim</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$164,919.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Azusa</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$96,204.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Bakersfield</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$547,250.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Baldwin Park</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$95,812.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Berkeley</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$177,846.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Citrus Heights</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$105,863.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Concord</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$198,126.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Costa Mesa</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$236,882.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Crescent City</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$30,223.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Culver City</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$128,433.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Daly City</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$110,955.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>El Cajon</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$90,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>El Monte</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$178,900.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Escondido</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$212,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Eureka</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$48,197.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Fontana</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$170,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Fresno</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$371,847.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Garden Grove</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$131,384.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Hayward</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$229,125.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Huntington Beach</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$170,488.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>La Mesa</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$70,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Lake Elsinore</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$64,231.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Long Beach</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$235,295.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Murrieta</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$88,440.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Norco</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$150,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Oceanside</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$272,216.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Orange</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$122,623.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Palm Desert</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$110,706.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Palm Springs</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$75,055.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Placentia</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$94,400.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Pomona</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$326,126.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Rancho Cordova</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$127,400.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Redding</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$114,132.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Redlands</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$86,320.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Redondo Beach</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$122,673.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Redwood City</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$109,451.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Reedley</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$69,530.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Rialto</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$134,687.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Roseville</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$98,408.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Sacramento</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$171,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Salinas</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$190,071.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Bernardino</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$200,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Bruno</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$90,868.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Diego County</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$524,441.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Fernando</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$104,043.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Rafael</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$94,189.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Sanger</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$79,306.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Ana</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$215,583.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Barbara</td><td>CENTRAL COAST</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$112,898.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Maria</td><td>CENTRAL COAST</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$145,229.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Monica</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$58,500.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>South Lake Tahoe</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$66,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>South San Francisco</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$56,827.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Stockton</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$352,000.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Union City</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$125,479.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Vallejo</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$89,856.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Ventura</td><td>CENTRAL COAST</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$103,710.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Visalia</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$155,036.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Yuba City</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$81,668.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Vallejo</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>AVOID the 10 DUI Capaign - Solano County</td><td>$553,409.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Turlock</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>AVOID the 12 DUI Campaign - Stanislaus County</td><td>$596,097.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Rafael</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>AVOID the 13 DUI Campaign - Marin County</td><td>$577,247.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Clara County</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>AVOID the 13 DUI Campaign - Santa Clara County</td><td>$635,364.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Petaluma</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>AVOID the 13 DUI Campaign - Sonoma County</td><td>$648,863.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Diego County</td><td>SOUTHERN BORDER</td><td>AVOID the 14 DUI Campaign - San Diego County</td><td>$1,098,009.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>San Francisco</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>AVOID the 14 DUI Campaign - San Francisco</td><td>$396,363.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Clovis</td><td>CENTRAL CALIFORNIA</td><td>AVOID the 17 DUI Campaign - Fresno and Madera Counties</td><td>$710,126.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Oxnard</td><td>CENTRAL COAST</td><td>AVOID the 18 DUI Campaign - Ventura County</td><td>$557,748.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Livermore</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>AVOID the 21 DUI Campaign - Alameda</td><td>$941,491.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Daly City</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>AVOID the 23 DUI Campaign - San Mateo County</td><td>$652,687.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Contra Costa County</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>AVOID the 25 DUI Campaign - Contra Costa County</td><td>$662,467.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Lincoln</td><td>SACRAMENTO VALLEY/GOLD COUNTRY</td><td>AVOID the 7 DUI Campaign - Placer County</td><td>$453,069.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Gardena</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>AVOID the 88 South Bay DUI Campaign - Los Angeles County</td><td>$1,137,023.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Napa</td><td>NORTH BAY AREA</td><td>AVOID the 9 DUI Campaign - Napa County</td><td>$372,053.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Marysville</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>AVOID the 9 DUI Campaign - Yuba, Sutter and Colusa Counties</td><td>$312,449.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Glendora</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>Avoid the 99 Los Angeles East DUI Task Force</td><td>$1,556,752.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Paradise</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>AVOID the Eight DUI Campaign - Butte County</td><td>$271,076.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Siskiyou County</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>AVOID the Eight DUI Campaign - Siskiyou County</td><td>$237,882.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Davis</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>Avoid the Eight DUI Campaign - Yolo County</td><td>$291,404.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Redding</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>Avoid the Five DUI Campaign - Shasta County</td><td>$331,078.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Corning</td><td>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA</td><td>Avoid the Five DUI Campaign Tehama County</td><td>$148,179.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Lancaster</td><td>LOS ANGELES/ORANGE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$189,045.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Oakland</td><td>SOUTH BAY/MONTEREY</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$298,070.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>Upland</td><td>INLAND EMPIRE</td><td>DUI Enforcement and Awareness Program</td><td>$100,225.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley Campus</td><td>STATEWIDE</td><td>Sobriety Checkpoint Mini-Grant Program</td><td>$5,276,674.00</td><td>2009</td></tr><tr><td>California Highway Patrol</td><td>STATEWIDE</td><td>Sobriety Checkpoint Operations and Roving DUI Enforcement (SCORE)</td><td>$6,394,983.00</td><td>2009</td></tr></tbody></table> Public Safety car checkpoint DUI police Database DUI Checkpoints Sun, 14 Feb 2010 01:53:12 +0000 1061 at http://californiawatch.org Agencies impounding more cars from sober drivers at DUI checkpoints (map) http://californiawatch.org/data/agencies-impounding-more-cars-sober-drivers-dui-checkpoints-map <p>Sobriety checkpoints are generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue for California law enforcement agencies, cities and counties. Police are far more likely to impound vehicles from unlicensed drivers than arrest a driver for a DUI. The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley has been able to determine how often police officers are arresting people for a DUI and how often they are impounding cars.</p><p>In Montebello, for instance, officers have impounded 62 cars for every DUI arrest. In Fremont, the ratio is one impound for every DUI arrest. Click on each city to find the ratio of DUI arrests to cars impounded during fiscal year 2008-09.</p><p>The markers don't indicate where the actual checkpoints took place. Scroll to the bottom and click on &quot;DUI checkpoints statewide,&quot; which will take you to a bigger map, as well as a list along the side of each community and the number of vehicles impounded per DUI arrest.</p> <p><iframe width="620" scrolling="no" height="600" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;source=embed&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=107231546811549966835.00047eb7626a99bfb3ae5&amp;ll=37.666429,-119.465332&amp;spn=10.43003,13.623047&amp;t=p&amp;z=6&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&amp;hl=en&amp;source=embed&amp;msa=0&amp;msid=107231546811549966835.00047eb7626a99bfb3ae5&amp;ll=37.666429,-119.465332&amp;spn=10.43003,13.623047&amp;t=p&amp;z=6" style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255); text-align: left;">DUI checkpoints statewide</a> in a larger map</small></p> <p>Produced by Ryan Gabrielson, Agustin Armendariz and Lisa Pickoff-White</p><p>Sources: See <a href="/public-safety/reporter-details-how-story-came-together">Methodology</a></p> Public Safety car checkpoint DUI police DUI Checkpoints Interactive Map Sun, 14 Feb 2010 01:44:42 +0000 1068 at http://californiawatch.org UC Berkeley program administers checkpoint funds http://californiawatch.org/data/uc-berkeley-program-administers-checkpoint-funds <script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"></script><script type="text/javascript" src="/files/data/resnick/jquery.tablesorter.min.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> $(document).ready(function() { // call the tablesorter plugin $("table").tablesorter(); }); </script><p>Local governments received $5.2 million in grants for police overtime at sobriety checkpoints during fiscal year 2008-09 through a California Office of Traffic Safety program administered by the UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center. The funds come from money the U.S. Department of Transportation provides to the state for roadway safety. The grants detailed below primarily pay for checkpoints scheduled during holiday periods, including the winter holidays, as well as Labor Day and the weekend of the Super Bowl.&nbsp;Readers can sort by clicking on any category header below.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><table class="tablesorter" id="table_ucb_grants" width="150"><thead><tr><th>LOCATION</th><th>UCB AWARD</th></tr></thead><tbody width="620"><tr><td>Atascadero</td><td>$22,103.15</td></tr><tr><td>Vista</td><td>$28,935.64</td></tr><tr><td>Lawndale</td><td>$30,179.20</td></tr><tr><td>Concord</td><td>$30,744.68</td></tr><tr><td>Bakersfield</td><td>$32,239.68</td></tr><tr><td>Coachella</td><td>$153,634.80</td></tr><tr><td>Moreno Valley</td><td>$115,092.88</td></tr><tr><td>Ontario</td><td>$32,960.00</td></tr><tr><td>Los Angeles</td><td>$635,400.00</td></tr><tr><td>La Mirada</td><td>$47,157.45</td></tr><tr><td>Norco</td><td>$92,327.92</td></tr><tr><td>La Quinta</td><td>$24,676.88</td></tr><tr><td>Pomona</td><td>$143,628.66</td></tr><tr><td>Norwalk</td><td>$47,648.07</td></tr><tr><td>Paramount</td><td>$34,914.68</td></tr><tr><td>Pico Rivera</td><td>$25,985.94</td></tr><tr><td>Tustin</td><td>$29,990.48</td></tr><tr><td>San Rafael</td><td>$66,543.80</td></tr><tr><td>Burbank</td><td>$22,606.78</td></tr><tr><td>Lemon Grove</td><td>$31,834.36</td></tr><tr><td>Irvine</td><td>$25,517.68</td></tr><tr><td>Glendale</td><td>$46,829.73</td></tr><tr><td>Palm Desert</td><td>$20,328.00</td></tr><tr><td>Montebello</td><td>$49,583.52</td></tr><tr><td>Carson</td><td>$24,556.66</td></tr><tr><td>Bellflower</td><td>$23,512.00</td></tr><tr><td>Carlsbad</td><td>$21,388.50</td></tr><tr><td>Imperial Beach</td><td>$31,416.96</td></tr><tr><td>Lake Elsinore</td><td>$33,484.32</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Clarita</td><td>$24,363.48</td></tr><tr><td>Chula Vista</td><td>$236,901.56</td></tr><tr><td>Hawthorne</td><td>$31,063.18</td></tr><tr><td>Monterey Park</td><td>$55,296.00</td></tr><tr><td>Dublin</td><td>$31,346.48</td></tr><tr><td>San Juan Capistrano</td><td>$28,764.00</td></tr><tr><td>Elk Grove</td><td>$37,232.84</td></tr><tr><td>Gardena</td><td>$23,050.78</td></tr><tr><td>Redondo Beach</td><td>$28,406.00</td></tr><tr><td>La Puente</td><td>$16,997.04</td></tr><tr><td>Hayward</td><td>$79,175.70</td></tr><tr><td>Palmdale</td><td>$65,300.76</td></tr><tr><td>Calabasas</td><td>$106,324.80</td></tr><tr><td>Oakland</td><td>$65,021.48</td></tr><tr><td>Malibu</td><td>$17,720.80</td></tr><tr><td>South Gate</td><td>$24,891.00</td></tr><tr><td>Agoura Hills</td><td>$106,324.80</td></tr><tr><td>Santa Rosa</td><td>$18,351.06</td></tr><tr><td>Simi Valley</td><td>$48,287.88</td></tr><tr><td>Corona</td><td>$14,772.72</td></tr><tr><td>Mission Viejo</td><td>$16,597.24</td></tr><tr><td>Murrieta</td><td>$15,931.16</td></tr><tr><td>Ceres</td><td>$13,702.54</td></tr><tr><td>Claremont</td><td>$71,555.04</td></tr><tr><td>Temecula</td><td>$22,510.08</td></tr><tr><td>Placentia</td><td>$15,806.74</td></tr><tr><td>Walnut Creek</td><td>$16,028.04</td></tr><tr><td>Folsom</td><td>$15,323.70</td></tr><tr><td>Perris</td><td>$75,414.72</td></tr><tr><td>Cypress</td><td>$63,424.00</td></tr><tr><td>El Monte</td><td>$48,960.00</td></tr><tr><td>Lodi</td><td>$28,262.16</td></tr><tr><td>San Francisco</td><td>$99,567.72</td></tr><tr><td>San Leandro</td><td>$30,870.51</td></tr><tr><td>Compton</td><td>$94,295.81</td></tr><tr><td>San Jose</td><td>$107,246.16</td></tr><tr><td>Fresno</td><td>$416,669.40</td></tr><tr><td>Laguna Beach</td><td>$23,251.72</td></tr><tr><td>Del Mar, Encinitas, Solana Beach</td><td>$27,761.95</td></tr><tr><td>San Bernardino</td><td>$13,526.30</td></tr><tr><td>Apple Valley</td><td>$65,416.70</td></tr><tr><td>Covina</td><td>$17,003.02</td></tr><tr><td>Alhambra</td><td>$59,243.46</td></tr><tr><td>Fremont</td><td>$17,162.52</td></tr><tr><td>San Jacinto</td><td>$17,642.24</td></tr><tr><td>Selma</td><td>$33,589.10</td></tr><tr><td>Sunnyvale</td><td>$18,457.52</td></tr><tr><td>Lompoc</td><td>$111,729.42</td></tr><tr><td>San Gabriel</td><td>$12,321.74</td></tr><tr><td>Goleta</td><td>$10,557.40</td></tr><tr><td>Milpitas</td><td>$17,782.40</td></tr><tr><td>Upland</td><td>$16,749.32</td></tr><tr><td>South Pasadena</td><td>$8,652.42</td></tr><tr><td>Indio</td><td>$9,557.24</td></tr><tr><td>Cathedral City</td><td>$6,923.16</td></tr><tr><td>Loma Linda</td><td>$25,108.84</td></tr><tr><td>Berkeley</td><td>$23,277.54</td></tr><tr><td>Wasco</td><td>$12,153.84</td></tr><tr><td>Riverbank</td><td>$15,359.12</td></tr><tr><td>West Sacramento</td><td>$9,812.38</td></tr><tr><td>Modesto</td><td>$17,895.76</td></tr><tr><td>Novato</td><td>$9,752.20</td></tr><tr><td>San Clemente</td><td>$14,129.76</td></tr><tr><td>Santee</td><td>$15,831.48</td></tr><tr><td>Brentwood</td><td>$10,547.78</td></tr><tr><td>Monrovia</td><td>$12,182.31</td></tr><tr><td>Visalia</td><td>$9,686.86</td></tr><tr><td>National City</td><td>$15,766.24</td></tr><tr><td>Chino</td><td>$56,346.24</td></tr><tr><td>Banning</td><td>$7,789.84</td></tr><tr><td>Fountain Valley</td><td>$11,172.00</td></tr><tr><td>Martinez</td><td>$8,276.04</td></tr><tr><td>Highland</td><td>$27,077.15</td></tr><tr><td>Petaluma</td><td>$13,900.54</td></tr><tr><td>Vallejo</td><td>$29,881.40</td></tr><tr><td>Yuba City</td><td>$13,963.28</td></tr><tr><td>Blythe</td><td>$7,722.68</td></tr><tr><td>Hanford</td><td>$8,224.96</td></tr><tr><td>Baldwin Park</td><td>$27,818.40</td></tr><tr><td>Vacaville</td><td>$30,625.60</td></tr><tr><td>Corcoran</td><td>$3,477.52</td></tr><tr><td>Sacramento</td><td>$145,699.82</td></tr></tbody></table> Public Safety checkpoints DUI Database DUI Checkpoints Sun, 14 Feb 2010 01:42:17 +0000 1063 at http://californiawatch.org