California Checkpoint Legislation Modified in Senate

Posted By Thomas V. Wallin || 7-Sep-2011

California DUI checkpoint When California state senators vote on proposed legislation addressing California sobriety checkpoints, the bills will be a bit different from those originally proposed by Assemblymen Gil Cedillo and Michael Allen.

In their original form, both bills addressed police impounds of cars at DUI/license checkpoints. According to the Press-Democrat, the impoundment provision has been dropped from Allen's AB 1389. The remaining provisions address how California DUI checkpoints must be conducted, including a requirement that police give at least 48 hours notice of a checkpoint's location.

Meanwhile, the impoundment component was shifted to AB 353, proposed by Cedillo. Allen and Cedillo decided to team up on the impoundment issue and to become joint authors of AB 353, according to Allen aide David Miller.  

The proposed bill, which is pending in the Senate, would limit the impounding of cars of unlicensed drivers at California DUI checkpoints if the car wasn't used in a crime. In addition, a car couldn't be impounded if a licensed driver was available, or an officer was able to park the car in a safe place.

Allen's California DUI law now "deals only with DUI checkpoints," Miller said.

Another change in Allen's bill involves more specific advance notice of checkpoint locations. Initially, he had wanted police to cite the actual location, but his bill was amended in the Assembly to "general location." In the Senate version, the word "general" was deleted, signifying a desire to require police to be more specific on locations.

Miller said publicizing locations remains the "subject of ongoing negotiations with law enforcement and social justice groups." As we have continually highlighted on this blog, studies have shown that giving notice is helpful in deterring some instances of drunk driving.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in California, contact our California DUI attorneys today. If you are interested in learning more about the locations of California DUI checkpoints, you can also visit our Facebook page!