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California checkpoint results in DUI charges, impounded vehicles

Police in California took one driver into custody as a result of a DUI checkpoint, according to reports. Officers conducted the checkpoint from 7 p.m. on Dec 27 to 2 a.m. on Dec. 28 on the 1900 block of Ming Ave. in Bakersfield. The DUI checkpoint resulted in one driver being detained under suspicion of drunk driving. However, officers said that they identified 25 drivers who had no valid driver's license. Nine of those drivers were reportedly operating their vehicles with a suspended license, and 12 vehicles were impounded at the checkpoint. A sergeant from the Bakersfield Police Department said that 659 vehicles were screened at the checkpoint.

Reports did not include information about the person who was taken into custody at the checkpoint or about the charges they may face. The Bakersfield Police Department conducted the checkpoint under funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety. The funds were released as part of a program aimed at reducing car accidents related to drunk driving.

Even first-offense drunk driving charges in California are serious. Drivers may face penalties including a maximum of six months in jail, a license suspension of six months and a fine of up to $1000. The penalties are even harsher if the driver was accused of having an extremely high blood alcohol content or if they were driving with a child in the car.

Although police are permitted to detain people on suspicion of DUI at checkpoints, there are certain rules they must follow when setting up and conducting these checkpoints. Police departments must publicize the plan for a checkpoint, and locations must be chosen by supervisors. Defense attorneys may be able to challenge DUI charges if a checkpoint did not comply with these and other guidelines.

Source: abc 23, "Bakersfield Police arrest one person in DUI/Driver's License checkpiont Saturday evening", Oscar Contreras, December 28, 2014

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