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2 drivers taken into custody after California checkpoint

On Aug. 15, the Walnut Creek Police Department conducted a sobriety checkpoint between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. During that time, they made contact with 1,060 drivers and asked six to pull over for further examination. Of those who were asked to pull over, two drivers were taken into custody for driving under the influence.

Research indicates that when checkpoints are used, drunk driving can be reduced by up to 20 percent. Much of the decrease in impaired driving is related to the publicity such a checkpoint receives. Drivers do not want to take the chance of possibly going to jail when they know police forces are nearby. In addition to jail time, the financial cost of a first-time misdemeanor DUI conviction is estimated at more than $15,000.

The majority of the costs are related to legal fees and increased insurance costs. DUI attorney rates in many areas of California start at around $2,500 and can be much higher depending on the attorney and the complexity of the case. Increases in automobile insurance rates for drivers who are convicted of DUI can be more than $10,000 over the life of the policy. This is on top of fines, penalties and license re-issue and vehicle storage fees.

Drivers who are charged with driving under the influence may wish to consult with an attorney. Possible penalties include a fine, jail time and a license suspension or revocation. An attorney may be able to craft a plea bargain that could reduce or drop some or all of the charges. This may allow a driver to avoid some or all penalties that he or she otherwise faces. While plea bargains are frequently offered for first-time offenders, others may benefit from such an agreement as well.

Source: Walnut Creek Patch, "Results In From Walnut Creek's DUI Checkpoint", Susan C. Schena, Aug. 20, 2015

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