California motorists may not be particularly shocked to learn that police officers often cruise the streets looking for drunk drivers. What may be surprising is how many drunk driving arrests are potentially made by officers every year. One San Marcos deputy, for example, took 101 individuals into custody for drunk driving in 2014 alone.
Because drunk driving is perceived to be a big problem in San Diego County, some officers work an overtime shift that is funded by a state grant. These officers prowl the streets looking for signs of drunk drivers. In most cases, officers look for drivers who may be swerving in and out of their lanes, weaving back and forth or driving at alternate speeds. They may also be driving without the use of their headlights. Once a person is pulled over, officers can allegedly generally determine if a person is under the influence within 30 seconds due to certain tell-tale signs, including slurred speech or red, watery eyes.
In November 2014, eight police agencies in North County formed a task force that set up DUI checkpoints along Route 78. This road appears to be a popular route for drivers who were accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol. Between 2010 and 2013, approximately 1,600 people were taken into custody after they were stopped on suspicion of drunk driving on route 78 and 207 alleged drunk drivers were involved in car accidents.
Those who are accused of impaired driving could face a number of different punishments depending on whether or not they have prior DUI convictions. A criminal defense attorney may in some cases be able to help a client avoid the loss of driving privileges by entering a guilty plea to a reduced charge.