Government

DUI Enforcement – How Expensive is It?


“No matter how hard I worked, I didn’t get the one that mattered most to me personally.”

It was a dark Spring night about 8 years ago and I was driving my patrol car down Sacramento St. towards Turner.  I had a young citizen rider with me that night and I was in the middle of explaining the dangers of drunk driving to her when suddenly a car drifted into our lane.  I quickly turned the wheel and was able to swerve to avoid being struck head on.

I spun my patrol car around and quickly caught up to stop the car.  I met with the driver who I suspected might be DUI, and asked him to do some Field Sobriety Tests.  He failed to perform the Field Sobriety Tests satisfactorily and I arrested him for DUI.  His Blood Alcohol Content was .10%, just .02% above the legal limit.  If you or I would have seen him walking down the street we would have no idea that he was too impaired to drive.  However, when alcohol was combined with driving his impairment became evident.  I bring his alcohol level up because he was probably only feeling a little buzzed or if he was accustomed to drinking it is possible he was “feeling fine.”  As the commercial goes “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

That night my rider and I almost became victims of the most preventable crime, DUI.  Most DUIs are misdemeanors.  The only real difference between a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI is if injuries are sustained during an accident.  Later that year I attended a MADD vigil for the surviving victims of DUI collisions.  At that early stage of my career, I was surprised at the number of people in attendance.  Now years later I am surprised it was not a lot more.

Eight years later, during this year’s Spring Wine Show we were out on a DUI grant.  That weekend we made several arrests of drivers, including “designated drivers” who were too impaired to drive.  I remember a call that weekend where again, a driver was almost struck head on as a DUI driver drifted into the opposing lane.  Fortunately the sober driver was able to swerve with only the vehicles’ mirrors striking each other.

Some people have proposed that DUI enforcement is too expensive for the results.  If you asked someone who has been a victim of DUI collisions if there was a price tag too expensive for DUI enforcement and education the answer would be a resounding “No!”  Officer Canestrino recently lost a friend to a DUI collision and I think his statement epitomizes our fight against DUI:  “No matter how hard I worked, I didn’t get the one that mattered most to me personally.”  Cops can’t be everywhere all the time, but the choice to have a sober driver can be made at anytime.

by Detective Eric Bradley – Lodi Police Department

Discussion

12 thoughts on “DUI Enforcement – How Expensive is It?

  1. Mr. Anonyymous, why are you so agitated? There were not 7 dui arrests, were there? Maybe I should be explaining that to you? Do you have a name or will you continue to hide behind your computer like the phony stalker, Joe Baxter, or a Lodi News-Sentinel staffer or management?

    Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2011, 3:29 pm
    • Look Doug, I’m not looking for an argument. The following is what was stated in the above article, “during this year’s Spring Wine Show we were out on a DUI grant. That weekend we made several arrests of drivers, including “designated drivers” who were too impaired to drive.” What am I missing here? There is no mention of unlicensed drivers, proof of insurance, unregistered vehicles or anything else. I don’t think I’m interpreting “too impaired to drive” incorrectly. Do you have access to information not contained in the article?

      Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2011, 5:36 pm
  2. If the real purpose of these checkpoints is to remove impaired drivers from our roads then shouldn’t Friday night have been the chosen date rather than the following evening? Mr. Anonymous, how about your opinion?

    Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2011, 12:21 pm
    • My opinion was based on the article that stated seven DUI arrests were made that the evening of the Spring Wine Show. No names were listed therefore it is impossible for me to speculate on their race. Quite frankly, I could care less what race they were if they were intoxicated. Your claim that DUI check points are not conducted during these wine event is invalid. All I asked is that you read the article. It is very self-explanatory and shouldn’t have to be explained to you.

      Posted by Anonymous | September 6, 2011, 2:57 pm
      • How many minorities did you tow for just minor misdemeanor traffic infractions? You say “we” were out on a DUI grant, so I assume you were one of either the 16 or so paid overtime employees that conducted the DUI/licensee checkpoint? All other information I’ve researched shows that these checkpoints can be easily conducted by 6, or 8 at the most, law enforcement related employees and it seems that I read that LPD uses 16 or so? Why is that? With usually 3 DUI’s at the most, why is it necessary to stage 6 or 8 tow trucks at each check point with so few DUI arrests? Aren’t they there for one main reason, citing and towing mostly minorities from the eastside of Lodi and impounding their vehicles to the tune of several thousand dollars for a 30-day impound? Since these checkpoints have become dual DUI/license checkpoints, I saw an influx of new, shiny flatbed type tow vehicles purchased by certain “lucky” body shops, dealerships and tow companies that provide those 6 or 8 tow trucks on site at these checkpoints. The tow and impound business seems to be booming in Lodi, but seems only for the “chosen few”.? I think the infamous Lodi News-Sentinel should assign their crack crime news reporter to research this subject and present the facts and figures concerning these tow companies and how they profit and share those profits with other entities and give a breakdown of the tow violations and the names of those who recceive them. It would be nice if you had a rea lname, though. Or are you ashamed that these DUI checkpoints are seemingly nothing but a scheme to line the coffers of those involved and really not showing the intent of being interested in getting the real impaired drivers from our roads, but using these checkpoints to basically for vehicle documentation/license violations targeting the eastside of Lodi when the most alcohol events are always downtown or driving functions that require participants to consume alcohol and drive from one venue to another? The new legislation going through the state capitol at this time seeks to halt these DUI/license checkpoints for some of the main reasons I point out. Why would our state legislators bring a bill such as this to legislation if they themselves thought these checkpoints were more intended to tow and impound drivers for minor traffic violations that to actually remove impaired drivers from the road? And this legislation would require that no licenser check would be allowed and that all checkpoints be set up in high traffic areas and on evenings prone to activities of alcoholic driven events. Just my thoughts, Mr. Anonymous, to hopefully realize the real purpose of these checkpoints return to their real purpose, removing impaired drivers from the road.

        Posted by Doug Chaney | September 11, 2011, 9:11 am
        • Assembly bill 353 was signed by Governor Brown which curtails law enforcement from towing vehicles of unlicensed drivers, as does AB 1389. Looks like there will be an abundance of foreclosures in Lodi on those spiffy, new flatbed tow trucks.

          Posted by Anonymous | October 10, 2011, 9:41 pm
  3. And Mr. Anonymous, there were 7 arrests , but I only believe less than half of them were for DUI. And how about the 17 or so tow aways for minor misdemeanor traffic violations? It doesn’t seem right that Amy law enforcement agency can merely ask for proof of insurance, registration or drivers license unless they are suspected of a traffic violation or criminal offense, DUI checkpoint or not. That’s the problem that concerns me with these seemingly racial profiling type checkpoints. Have you checked the last names of those towed and cited for just the minor traffic violations at these checkpoints? It just happens that they are nearly all those with apparent Spanish related origin. This past DUI/license checkpoint was conducted on Saturday night on Lodi Ave on the eastside once again instead of targeting the previous evening, which was the evening of the first Friday art hop, which requires participants to partake in the consumption of alcohol and then drive to many venues that are too far spaced apart to walk to. Why wasn’t that night chosen instead? If the real purpose of these checkpoints is to remove impaired drivers from our

    Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2011, 12:17 pm
  4. Richard, thanks for your comments and questions. You wii find Mr. Keith Colgan a fine and personable person who moderates and monitors Lodi360.com and is completely unlike the very biased management at the paltry and floundering Sentinel and allows anyone to post a comment or start a topic of their own choosing and/or become a regular contributor or to merely add opinions as long as they are kept within the simple boundaries set by Mr. Colgan. This is a very well kept website unlike the Sentinel that gives the appearance of allowing anonymous bloggers using phony names, like Joe Baxter the stalker, and their three favorite name calling and intimidating regulars, who surely must be paid, IMO, and maybe even one registered blogger that many assume to be a member of their own Sentinel staff. Lodi360.com presents the real citizenry where everyone is someone. Thank you Mr. Keith Colgan.

    Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2011, 11:54 am
  5. Doug, did you read the entire article? The LPD made seven arrests during the Spring Wine Show. Several of the DUI check points have been on West Kettleman Lane. Let’s get the facts straight.

    Posted by Anonymous | September 1, 2011, 8:59 pm
  6. Why does it seem that LPD avoids the evenings of the nearly bi-monthly wine drinking events and instead chooses off nights and the poorer east side of town for their DUI checkpoints? Maybe it’s because they have included license checks with the DUI checkpoints? Is it more important for LPD and the city of Lodi to load the city coffers with unlicensed, uninsured or suspended drivers than removing impaired drivers from the road? And why so many tows and impounds and who shares in the profits between COL, LPD, tow truck owners and impound yard companies? Just who owns the impound yards who drool over the 30-day impounds that cost around $2000? Who do they share their booty with? I see 6 or 7 different new flatbed tow trucks staged at these dui/license checkpoints and notice that Geweke “donates” their abandoned, blighted property on Cherokee Lane to stage those events on Cherokee Lane. It’s time LPD and the city of Lodi get down to the real business of removing impaired drivers from the road by staging these checkpoints on the evenings of the wine busts and in the general vicinity also, not on the other side of town. How could anyone possibly think they are serious about DUI and impaired drivers when you see as many as 30 tow aways for minor traffic violations and as few as 2, sometimes 0 dui’s? Just go downtown on Friday or Saturday night and look at all the drunks sitting on the city sidewalks, at least those good ol’ boy businesses who have the connections to have outside drinking areas, loud-mouthing and arguing with one another. I don’t take my grandchildren to the Lodi cinema on weekend evenings anymore for that simple reason. The grandchildren want to know if those over-imbibers are fighting or just crazy people. Get back to the basics and get those dui/impaired drivers off the road and stage the areas and evenings when the heavy wine drinking events occur.

    Posted by Doug Chaney | August 31, 2011, 9:17 pm
    • Hey Doug….I got tired of the morons on the sentinel ,so i decided to try 360…. Its really refreshing to see a good site about our little town!! I know this is off topic but I just wanted to say hi. Take care bro

      Posted by richard turner | September 3, 2011, 10:23 pm
      • Mr. Turner,

        Thank you for your comment as regards LODI360. It cannot do the tough job of reporting daily news as the Sentinel does and it will always remain somewhat “tame” as regards the “rhetoric”. But I look forward to growing it into something meaningful with the help of the community. Please encourage others to “subscribe” (right hand column) and contribute content as they see fit. Also, please consider submitting a “topic starter” (via the CONTACT Page) if you see an issue published elsewhere that you’d like to see discussed here. The real-time CHAT ROOM is always open to have more of a free-for-all and I’m considering the possibility of posting suggested meeting times for the locals. If you have days and times in mind that work for you, please offer them. In addition, I can create “Private”, password protected areas for persons of like ilk to call their own.

        In other words, I’m taking suggestions.

        Yours truly,
        Keith – Editor

        Posted by LODI360 Editor | September 4, 2011, 8:36 am

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