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DUI checkpoint set for this weekend in Lodi

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:00 am

The Lodi Police Department traffic unit will be conducting a DUI and drivers license checkpoint between 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 a.m. Sunday, at an undisclosed location within the city limits.

Officers will examine drivers passing through the checkpoint for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, as well as proper licensing. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

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  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:34 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Jason, do you realize that alcohol is considered an addictive drug? Your little town of Lodi is in the business of selling that drug as its drawing point for tourists. These license checkpoints are nothing but a camouflage to schedule these checkpoints away from the many and regular events requiring participants to consume alcohol/drugs and drive their vehicle from one venue to another or to their residences, some in nearby towns on dangerous country roads, highway 12, and the freeways, not to mention the back streets of Lodi which many use to avoid these traps. Within 5 minutes of staging the traps, the word is already around town and imbibers are told which routes to use to avoid these traps. It's rumored that if you're real privy, you may get some heads up at an earlier time. If you think that getting violators of misdemeanor traffic citations is more important than taking a drunk/impaired driver off the road, then so be it. I've always been for sobriety checkpoints if used in the proper way, not to trap minor traffic violators. LPD has motorcycle designated specifically for that as their primary duty. I have been sober for many years and most checkpoints I have been through, about a dozen and a half, monitor ALL vehicles and provide them with literature outlining the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. It also allows them to have the vehicle driver open his window to be able to smell the odors of drugs/alcohol present in that vehicle, not every third or fourth car, as they proclaim, and I doubt. They're not supposed to ask any personal questions unless you are suspected of a violation and it is your right not to respond to any questions that ask what you're doing out or where you're going. You can politely reply that you don't have time to answer those personal questions if you have done nothing wrong. And you only need to roll your window down a crack, just enough to pass your license, registration or insurance through to the officer and you do not have to roll your window down any further to let them use their flashlight, that is also a "sniffer" stick to detect the smell of drugs/alcohol. These laws need to be changed to reflect the deletion of license checkpoints and return to dui/impaired or sobriety checkpoints like they were until they turned into these seemingly traffic citation traps that generate funds for law enforcement and their corrupt town leaders.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:12 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    This is good information to know. The last time I went through a DUI Checkpoint on Lodi Avenue East of the rail tracks, the officer violated every single one of the items you list above, Mr. Jacobs.

    I was there for about 5 full minutes while the officer scrutinized my DL, stuck his head and flashlight in my driver window, quizzed me about where I was coming from and where I was headed.

    I was at Orchard Supply a couple of weeks ago when they had a DUI Checkpoint on Cherokee just North of Lodi Avenue. The Motor Officers chased down any vehicles that made a right turn to go East of Lodi Avenue in order to avoid the checkpoint. I intentionally avoided the whole intersection by driving South through the parking lot to Rancho San Miguel and exited at the light on Tokay Street.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:37 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    First, I'd like to know who the brain dead cop is who plans these checkpoints, whose major purpose is to cite/tow vehicles of drivers who are unlicensed/uninsured, judging by the numbers of dui/impaired arrests to citations/tows/impounds for minor misdemeanor traffic violations and mostly to the minorities on the east side of Lodi that LPD knows will be their victims time after time since many are undocumented and others are migrant workers who haven't been allowed to possess a valid California drivers' license until recently. And many of those migrants don't know that they are now allowed the privilege of being able to apply and receive a license with the new legislation recently passed. Since these checkpoints nearly always seem to be on the east side, many on the old Geweke properties and on Lockeford and Lawrence streets, or other odd choices that seem to be chosen to rather concentrate on the unlicensed/uninsured drivers rather than those who are dui/impaired. The wine fest was this past weekend, Friday and Saturday nights I believe and again the brain dead planner chose to just magically bypass those dates for this weekend instead. Where was the dui checkpoint on Friday/Saturday this past weekend when every imbiber, wino and alcoholic was in town for a great event? The Lockeford and Lawrence checkpoint would have been ideal if LPD had any intentions of actually arresting dui/impaired drivers in this protective little town. If word got out that the city of Lodi and LPD were really looking for dui/impaired drivers and set these "license" checkpoints up on the evenings of these never ending wine events which attract mostly the same old locals, and even a few out of towners from remote areas such as Galt and Woodbridge, Lodi would lose many of those who attend for fear of getting ticketed for no license/insurance, or maybe even dui/impaired driving? When will LPD and the city of Lodi use our taxpayers' money for what it was meant for and not for speed trap like checkpoints like the present system they are using merely to catch unlicensed/uninsured drivers for minor misdemeanor traffic citations rather than the real purpose of removing those many dui/impaired drivers from the roads? Many east side residents, mainly undocumented and documented immigrants are quickly getting the feeling they are being singled out and discriminated against by the very poor selection of the evenings in which they set up these overtime checkpoints, the many east side stagings, stagings in areas that are generally away from the wine event sites, especially downtown Lodi, where most known over imbibers are thought to hang out every night of the week, and especially weekends, with the over saturation of lounges, restaurant/bars and dozens of enterprise zone wine tasting rooms. There should be a citizens' advisory committee appointed to co ordinate the evenings in which these dui/traffic violation traffic traps are scheduled to coincide with the constant alcohol/wine/drug related events that continue year long in the Lodi/Stockton area.

  • Jason Wilkins posted at 1:50 pm on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Jason Wilkins Posts: 32

    I understand your frustration with these checkpoints Mr. Jacobs, but if someone is driving with no license, in an uninsured vehicle, with a bag of meth and perhaps a loaded handgun, but has NOT been drinking - should we just let them go? These checkpoints many times uncover people breaking the law. Serious laws. Please get them and their uninsured, unregistered vehicles off the streets. If these checkpoints are a deterrent to people who might drive while intoxicated, even better.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 12:16 pm on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2108

    Yes, by all means, let do away with these DUI checkpoints and tell all those people who are tempted to drive drunk that the police don't care. Let's let the drunk fill our roads and kill mothers, fathers, children leaving whole families devastated with loss. Since this is all about greedy money grabs lets have whole families killed because some people don't like having police out in force re-enforcing the fact that drunk driving is WRONG.

    As someone who has lost two friends to drunk drivers and been hit by a drunk myself I find people who defend letting drunks fill the streets reprehensible.

  • Brett Thompson posted at 6:31 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Brett Thompson Posts: 55

    This is all about revenue generation and extra overtime for officers.

  • Robert Jacobs posted at 4:38 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    This is about money as much as it is for anything else (yes the police departments get some of the money they seize I don't care what they say) and to catching anyone breaking the law. The problem, the police in their zeal are doing and end run around the law because the courts have said you cannot conduct any other kind of checkpoint; its illegal. So law enforcement call these DUI checkpoints. Sure they get some drunk drivers but they glean far more other offenses than DUI's and they confiscate money and property in the process!

    Yet still, law enforcement are doing exactly what they want to do and this is just an end run in order to get around the law! Because they think they are the law! They are not, they are to enforce existing laws and that's all. They are civil servants and nothing more or less.

    It's amazing to me that law enforcement continues to do as they please unchecked and no one says a word while your rights are steadily being take away. Once they are gone there is no getting them back!

    If you see a so-called DUI checkpoint while driving down the road:

    You do not have to go through a DUI check point. If you see one before you reach it, you can legally turn your car around; if you can do it without breaking any traffic laws. If you get stuck in a DUI check point, you do NOT have to answer any questions about where you've been or where you're going. You do NOT have to answer any questions at all with the exception of those that are related to your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance. When producing the above documents you only need to roll your window down far enough to pass them along to the officer.

    The officer CANNOT cross the plane of your window including alcohol detecting flash lights, or any part of the officers body. If the officer asks you any questions NOT related to the above documents such as where were you coming from or where you are going, you can refuse to answer, just tell the officer I do not feel comfortable answering personal questions. If the officer asks why, or what do you have to hide, just politely repeat the above.



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