It's time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and that also means it's time for DUI checkpoints. DUI checkpoints for the popular Mexican holiday will be set up throughout the Bay Area.
Northern California DUI Checkpoints:
San Francisco – Cesar Chavez St. and Van Ness Ave – 7:00 pm to 3:00 am
San Rafael – Point San Pedro Road East of Mooring Road for East bound traffic – 6:00 pm – 3:00 am
Novato –Areas of the City – 8:00pm – 2:00am
Mill Valley – Areas of the City – 8:00pm – 2:00am
Lodi - Areas of the City - 6:30pm – 2:30am
Modesto – Areas of the City – 6:30pm – 2:30am
San Jose – Areas of the City – 6:30pm – 2:30am
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011 — the latest year for which statistics were available — 35 percent of crash fatalities that occurred on May 5th were alcohol-related. On average, a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash every 51 minutes in the United States. The majority of those crashes involve drivers who have a .15 percent BAC or higher, almost twice the legal limit .08 percent.
The following are easy steps to have a safe and happy Cinco de Mayo:
- Designate a sober driver
- Take a taxi
- Call a sober friend or family member
- Find a sober friend to walk home with you, or refrain from walking all together.
- If someone is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make a safe travel arrangement to where they are going
- Ask to stay at hosts home for the night
- Do not sleep in your parked vehicle - it is possible to get a DUI without even driving
Consequences of Drunk Driving:
Driving while impaired is a crime. It risks your safety and the safety of those around you. Drunk driving is not worth causing a car accident, severe injury, or even death.
There are substantial legal and financial costs of drunk driving. Violators often face:
- Jail time.
- Loss of driver’s license.
- Higher insurance rates.
- Other unanticipated expenses, such as attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
Top Ten List of questions if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI.
- Have your license and registration ready to hand to police if pulled over. You don't want to fumble around looking for those documents in front of the police when you are pulled over.
- Do not answer any police questions. Politely refuse to answer questions about where you have been and whether you have had anything to drink.
- If you are asked to exit the car you must comply. Be very careful in the way you exit the car - if you stumble this will be a clue for officers that could lead to your arrest.
- Refuse to take the field sobriety tests. Don't recite the alphabet. Don't follow the pen light with your eyes. Politely refuse. These tests are very difficult to take under ideal conditions. On a side road in the middle of the night they are much harder for anyone to take - regardless of whether or not you have been drinking.
- Don't question the officer. Just politely refuse to answer questions and to take the tests that are designed to make you fail.
- If you are taken to the station and asked whether you would like to make a phone call - you should make it.
- If you are taken to the station and asked whether you would like a witness - you should request one and try to get someone to the station to view your condition.
- We can't give you advice on whether or not to blow into the in-toxilizer at the station. If you refuse to blow you will automatically lose your license for a year and there's no way to even try to get a temporary permit for at least six months.
- Remember not to speak at the station without an attorney present. Always be polite, but be firm in refusing to answer questions (other than your name etc.).
- Always be nice! Being a jerk will always hurt your case.
AAA’s Tipsy Tow Program – Cinco de Mayo 2017:
The Tipsy Tow program is open to everyone. You do not need to be an AAA Member to take advantage of this service to the community.
AAA typically offers the service to drinking drivers from 6 p.m. on the holiday to 6 a.m. the following day in Northern California, Nevada and Utah.
During the period Tipsy Tow is available, drivers, potential passengers, party hosts, bartenders, and restaurant managers can call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to ten miles. Just tell the AAA operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow," and a truck will be on its way.
The service will provide a one-way ride for the driver and vehicle to the driver's home. If there are additional passengers who need a ride, they will be taken to the driver's home as long as there is sufficient room for them to be transported safely in the tow truck. You cannot make a reservation.
If you have any questions regarding a DUI case in California feel free to contact my office and set up a FREE consultation at (415) 552-1215.