California residents may be familiar with the concept of civil forfeiture. When a person commits a crime, authorities may take assets that were used in the commission of that crime. However, the value of the items may need to be taken into consideration when imposing such a punishment. In the case of Timbs v. Indiana, a man had his $42,000 Range Rover taken from him after allegedly selling heroin to undercover police officers.
About 30 percent of the motorists involved in fatal accidents in California each year test positive for drugs or alcohol, which is why police departments in the state take impaired driving extremely seriously. Roadside DUI checkpoints and roadblocks have been ruled unconstitutional in 10 states, including Oregon and Washington, but they are often used by law enforcement in California in the battle against drunk and drugged driving.
Police in California say that a call from a concerned citizen led them to a seriously impaired driver on the evening of Nov. 11. After receiving the call at approximately 11:19 p.m., emergency operators dispatched officers from the Petaluma Police Department to a fast food restaurant on East Washington Street. Upon arrival, the officers took a 36-year-old Sonoma County man into custody on suspicion of drunk driving charges.
At least one driver is arrested for DUI in Napa County every 12 hours during the summer months, according to statistics released by the California Highway Patrol and other agencies. They made 184 drunk driving arrests between June and August of this year. While Napa police arrested 40 people suspected of driving under the influence, the Sheriff's office arrested 36 more drivers. The California Highway Patrol conducted the vast majority of the arrests, seizing 108 people on DUI charges during that time.
California drivers who are traveling east for the holidays should be aware that on the day before New Year's Eve, Utah will drop its blood alcohol content limit from .08 percent to .05 percent, giving it the lowest drunk driving limit in the nation. The move comes at the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board, and other states, including California, could eventually follow suit.