December 21, 2009

San Leandro Checkpoint Nabs Robbery Suspects

The sobriety checkpoint conducted by the San Leandro Police Department this weekend resulted in four arrests for suspicion of driving under the influence, two arrests for being drunk in public, and the arrest of two suspects in a strong-arm robbery earlier in the day at Lucky's. A "be on the lookout" alert had been issued for the robbery suspects and they were arrested without incident. The checkpoint, which had been publicized in local media, also resulted in six other citations and ten vehicles being towed.

A total of 537 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, which was scheduled to be held from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. on December 18 and 19, 2009. A similar checkpoint conducted in August 2008 netted 10 arrests for people suspected driving under the influence, but the checkpoint lasted slightly longer, from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m.

The checkpoint was funded through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, which provided the grant as part of the "National Impaired Driving Campaign" campaign from December 16, 2009 to January 3, 2010.

According to a fact sheet from the California Office of Traffic Safety, "In California, 1,029 people were killed in alcohol related crashes in 2008, down from 1,132 fatalities in 2007 – a decrease of 9.1 percent (FARS). Additionally in 2008, there were 28,457 people injured in alcohol-related crashes, down from 30,641 in 2007 (SWITRS 2008 provisional data)."

As noted in an article about the August 2008, sobriety checkpoint, guidelines for sobriety checkpoints were established by the California Supreme Court decision Ingersoll v. Palmer (43 Cal.3d 1321 (1987), which include advance notice of the checkpoint and using a neutral formula (not officer discretion) to decide which cars are selected to be stopped. Critics claim that the checkpoints violate the Fourth Amendment, but the Supreme Court said that the infringement of this right was outweighed by the public interest in reducing drunk driving.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at December 21, 2009 12:53 PM | TrackBack
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