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Calif. DUI Roadchecks

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  • Calif. DUI Roadchecks

    So I'm on vacation in CA last month, in the Palm Springs area. We're at dinner, a nice little mexican place. Now I'm driving from Ranch Mirage to Palm Springs and I go through a DUI road check with tons of cops. I've worked at these thing dozens of times, but I'm never been at one with so many cops.

    They keep waving cars through, I dunno, 15 or 20 cars ahead of me gets waved through. Who do they pull over, but me. Now there was no problem, as I had nothing stronger than a decaf iced latte from starbucks (with equal, as I'm watching the carbs), but I wanted to talk to the cop about the procedure. He was polite and proffesional, but once he observed that I wasn't drunk, I was sent along. He seemed in a hurry, and I didn't even get a chance to ID myself.

    What are the rules for DUI roadblocks in CA? Is the number fixed, or variable (those that pulled over). The rules in NY are quite strict. Just curious.
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  • #2
    There are a number of factors involved.

    Absent any other circumstances, every Nth car is stopped at random.
    Depending on how heavy or light traffic is, it may be every 15th car, 10th car, 9th car or 3rd car. The amount varies with how much traffic is on the roadway. If traffic gets too heavy and really starts to back up, they may wave all cars through for a few minutes and then start the count over.

    Once the count is decided on (every 10th car, 8th car, etc.) there will be a person sitting in a chair at the side of the road, keeping count, calling the count out to the contact officers and recording that count on a clipboard. This is necessary to demonstrate that the contacts are for the most part, random.

    However, if the contact officer sees something warranting investigation, he can stop that vehicle irrespective of where that vehicle is in the count. At that point, the count starts over.

    In addition, there are spotters on the road about a block down from where the contact officers are. They look for things in plain view like open containers, drugs, people switching drivers, etc. If they spot something unusual they will call it ahead to the contact officers who will stop that car, irrespective of the count. Once contact is made with that vehicle, the count starts over again.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      I always wondered how the roadblocks worked. We can't do them in Michigan

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      • #4
        Similar then to NYS

        Originally posted by L-1
        There are a number of factors involved.

        Absent any other circumstances, every Nth car is stopped at random.
        Depending on how heavy or light traffic is, it may be every 15th car, 10th car, 9th car or 3rd car. The amount varies with how much traffic is on the roadway. If traffic gets too heavy and really starts to back up, they may wave all cars through for a few minutes and then start the count over.

        Once the count is decided on (every 10th car, 8th car, etc.) there will be a person sitting in a chair at the side of the road, keeping count, calling the count out to the contact officers and recording that count on a clipboard. This is necessary to demonstrate that the contacts are for the most part, random.

        However, if the contact officer sees something warranting investigation, he can stop that vehicle irrespective of where that vehicle is in the count. At that point, the count starts over.

        In addition, there are spotters on the road about a block down from where the contact officers are. They look for things in plain view like open containers, drugs, people switching drivers, etc. If they spot something unusual they will call it ahead to the contact officers who will stop that car, irrespective of the count. Once contact is made with that vehicle, the count starts over again.
        I guess the rules aren't too different. What really surprized me, though were the number of cops present. Seems l**** we never have that luxury. Wish we did though. It was safe and proffesionally done.
        You can now follow me on twitter.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SlowDownThere
          I guess the rules aren't too different. What really surprized me, though were the number of cops present. Seems l**** we never have that luxury. Wish we did though. It was safe and proffesionally done.
          Check your PM for further info re the number of people assigned.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment

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