Los Angeles DUI and Law Enforcement
In the Los Angeles area, driving under the influence arrests make up a large proportions of the total arrests conducted on any given weekend or holiday. As a result, law enforcement officers receive extensive training in identifying and processing DUI cases and handling DUI arrests. Law enforcement agencies throughout the area recognize the importance of preventing impaired driving and focus on arresting DUI drivers. Sometimes the focus on netting a large amount of DUI arrests means that there may be issues that lead to a case being dismissed or not charged.
In the Los Angeles area, there are a number of law enforcement agencies who may be involved in performing DUI arrests. The California Highway Patrol produces the highest number of DUI arrests in the area. The CHP patrols the freeways of California and are always vigilant for drivers who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These officers frequently pull vehicles over for observed traffic infractions. During nights and weekends, when drivers are more likely to be intoxicated, CHP officers pay extra attention to drivers who may be swerving or driving erratically, which may indicate that the driver is intoxicated or impaired.
In recent years, illuminated signs have been placed on freeways encouraging drivers to report impaired motorists. This has led to an increase in calls of suspicious driving on the freeway. CHP officers are dispatched and are typically able to find the suspect driver and pull him or her over. If the officer recognizes telltale signs of intoxication, such as bloodshot and watery eyes, an odor of alcohol or slurred speech, the officer will have the driver complete a series of field sobriety tests designed to measure whether the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Local police departments also conduct numerous DUI arrests. The Los Angeles Police Department, which patrols the City of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which operates throughout Los Angeles County, are responsible for a high number of DUI arrests. In addition, many cities in Los Angeles County have their own police departments that are responsible for patrolling within the particular city. Some cities have gained a reputation for issuing a high number of traffic stops and subsequent DUI arrests, especially at night or on weekends when there is a higher occurrence of DUI incidents.
Recently, law enforcement agencies in the Los Angeles area have used DUI checkpoint operations in order to deter DUI drivers and to arrest those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The California Supreme Court has held that these checkpoint operations, which allow law enforcement officers to stop and briefly evaluate all drivers passing through a particular location, are constitutionally valid as long as they meet several legal requirements. These include ensuring that the operation is publicized in advance, is clearly marked and is operating in a neutral fashion that exposes all drivers passing through the checkpoint to the same level of scrutiny.
Increasingly, law enforcement agencies rely on drug recognition enforcements officers who are receive specialized training in determining the symptoms of drug intoxication. These officers are often called to assist in an arrest where the suspect appears impaired but tests negative for alcohol on a preliminary alcohol screening (“PAS”) device.
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense, it is critical that you speak with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer right away. Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who understands how law enforcement handles DUI arrests and cases and knows how to effectively fight these types of charges on behalf of his clients.
For more information about Los Angeles DUI and law enforcement, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.