San Luis Obispo police holding DUI checkpoint on Friday night

January 27, 2023


San Luis Obispo police announced plans to conduct a DUI checkpoint in the city at an undisclosed location on Friday evening from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

The department selects the location based on a history of DUI crashes and arrests. Officers check licenses and insurance while looking for signs of impairment.

“The safety of our community is and always will be our mission,” Sergeant Jeff Booth said. “We are still out there in the middle of a pandemic because driving under the influence is still dangerous and puts a further strain on critical resources.”

Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with a first-time DUI face an average of $13,500 in fines and penalties, as well as a suspended license.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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I am all for strict enforcement of DUI laws. My grandparents were killed by a drunk driver many years ago. However, the checkpoint described in this article goes far beyond a simple “DUI” checkpoint. Depending upon what is DEMANDED of the driver (as opposed to what is CONSENSUAL), the stop is almost certainly a violation of the 4th and 5th amendments. This is the USA, not Russia where authorities can stop anyone, anytime, for any reason (or as in this case no reason) and demand “PAPERS!”.