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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 23
1946, 11:20pm: William S. Hart, 81, dies at L.A.'s California Lutheran Hospital, leaving his Newhall home and 80-acre estate to L.A. County and his Hollywood home to L.A. City [story]
Hart dies

lasd_scvstation_pressrelease_badge[KHTS] – Two DUI-driver’s License checkpoints were operated Friday by deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station – one on westbound Newhall Avenue at Carl Court, and the other on eastbound Magic Mountain Parkway at Avignon Drive.

The checkpoints began at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at 2 a.m. Saturday, after deputies checked a total of 2,480 vehicles through the points, according to a press release from the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station.

Of the thouands of vehicles examined, 1,870 drivers were checked, yielding the following results:

1 suspect was arrested for a $5,000 traffic warrant and sent to court

2 suspended / revoked drivers were arrested and sent to court

9 unlicensed drivers were arrested and sent to court

1 vehicle was stored for a day

2 vehicles were impounded for 30 days

8 vehicles were released per checkpoint release procedures.

Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station deputies have held a number of DUI checkpoints during 2014, and the station plans to continue the checkpoints throughout the year, according to the release.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent.

People who notice drunk or unsafe drivers on the road are urged to report them by calling 9-1-1.


– Dale Fairclough


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  1. So no drunk drivers, but people were still arrested. Seems like the Sheriff department still doesn’t understand what DUI Checkpoint means.

  2. I am glad these checkpoints got some drunks off the roads. Oh, wait. Zero arrests for DUI. Well, I guess they did not. Well, let’s all feel good about this anyway and sing Kum Ba Ya. Pass the kool-aid.

  3. Brian Yelton Brian Yelton says:

    Everyone should just go around the checkpoint. I went through the apartments off of magic mountain straight to McBean, so simple.

  4. Jon Tapia Jon Tapia says:

    I like Brian’s way of thinking. Cheers to you good man!

  5. (Wiping my brow) so glad they got these horrible criminals off the road. It all makes perfect sense that they were unable to respond to other law enforcement needs during this time. Heavy sarcasm intended.

  6. Funny part about all this is that when people are stopped at check points they don’t have to give them any information.

    • msc545 says:

      Nope, you do not have to answer their questions at all, and in fact you don’t even have to talk to them. The problem is that if you don’t, around here they may just drag you out of the car, beat the crap out of you, and then arrest you for “resisting arrest”.

      • msc545 says:

        I mean exactly what I said – if you don’t talk to them and answer their questions, you are going to make them very angry, and they may (or may not) respond with violence. It’s better not to make the police angry even if they are violating your rights. If you want to argue about your rights, you do it in a courtroom, not sitting in your car in the middle of a checkpoint.

    • Douglas Arms Douglas Arms says:

      Check points are illegal.

  7. msc545 says:

    Ok, so it turns out that the Supreme Court case that lets them do this (stop people and try to decide if they are driving while intoxicated) was an *exception* to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution which reads:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    The Court decided that drunk driving kills and injures so many people that such an exception was necessary. However, the Sheriff is not and has not been catching any drunks – instead, they are catching people by asking for their licenses, which I believe (and I am not a lawyer but I can read and I can think) is actually a 4th Amendment violation and illegal. They have NO probable cause, and they have NO warrants. They are simply fishing, and that is not permitted.

    I see a lawsuit coming very soon.

  8. 9 unlicensed drivers…..that’s good enough for me….. Great job to SCPD

  9. These events are against the law, but incredibly are accepted by local law enforcement. They generate income for the city and give bored cops something to do on a Saturday night.

  10. I was stuck in traffic 45 mins at check point., they need to so something about speeding the whole process.

  11. Ala Timeline Ala Timeline says:

    can you just set up the checkpoints outside of bar parking lots? thanks

  12. I was hit by a drunk driver – needed surgery as a result along with a totaled car. Checkpoints? Even if they get one unlicensed driver, or drunk off the road – I’ll wait in the traffic. It might have saved a life.

  13. I agree with Heather!

    • msc545 says:

      I agree with Heather too, but the fact is that they didn’t get even ONE drunk driver off the road. Didn’t you read the article ?

  14. 9 unlicensed drivers could also mean people to have failed drivers tests, or suspended licenses from previous duis. Stupid check point or not, people without a license have no business behind the wheel of car. Guaranteed they didn’t have insurance either. I’m sure you all would have been much more upset if you were Involved in a collision with one of them. Thanks scsd for keeping our roads safer.

  15. Cdl usually stands for commercial drivers license

  16. Good there should be more!!!! Driving is a privilege!!!

  17. Remember, No License No Insurance, they hit your car, your screwed unless you paid the extra Under Insured or UN-Insured coverage. So I have to pay for some lowlifes lack of responsibility and so do you, they are why our insurance is so high. Screw them, put their dumb asses in jail!!!!!

  18. Ron Contant Ron Contant says:

    Thank you Santa Clarita sheriffs dept, for keeping us all safe!!

  19. Keith Dill Keith Dill says:

    How about we put all those cop’s on the road taking care of crimes. And I bet they get just as many drunks and UN licensed drivers off the road.

  20. Heather. I would agree. But statistically the check point don’t. It’s been proven in many cities that just putting a few extra patrol officers on the beat does just as much. So all the extra over time for these officers is a waste of tax dollars.

    The only reason these program exist is for political gain. When Jerry Brown was running for governed he promised all the police unions millions in overtime. There you go.

  21. I agree wt Robert M Gardner check points are useless

  22. Rick Massa Rick Massa says:

    I’m in law enforcement and Jerry Brown can only authorize OT for state law enforcement like the CHP and not local police or sheriffs. For every irresponsible driver that has been drinking that is removed from the street a potential life is saved.

    • msc545 says:

      Yes, I agree, we need to do all that we can to remove drunk drivers from the street. that said, checkpoints DON’T WORK, at least not here. If you look back at the last 10 checkpoints, you will see that none of them caught a single drunk driver, while the saturation patrols do.

      Do you really want to keep doing something that doesn’t work ? If you do, then you are not interested in getting drunk drivers off the street at all.

  23. Rick Massa Rick Massa says:

    LAPD just lost officers to drunk drivers. Some of my friends. A check point could have prevented that.

  24. Rick. I’m on board with stopping drunk drivers. It will never happen until we get breathalyzers in ever car. Chasing violators will always be a loosing battle. Let’s fight for legislation that will make that happen.

  25. I’d also like to point out that historically ONE check point has yielded in over 10 arrests in the past. This last checkpoint had TWO locations and only had 12 arrest? Seems like having more is less affective.

    Meanwhile if you read the other post I linked to you will see many other local residents went without any service from the LASD that night. And before anyone says – the funds are different blah blah – ya I know and makes it even worse. Overtime to deputies for check points and the standard crew can’t handle the nights activities and many people were left in the dark. What a shame.

  26. Manny Silva Manny Silva says:

    Look.. all these unlicensed drivers were immigrants PROBLEY. … yall didnt catch anyone drunk DRIVING. …..

  27. Manny Silva Manny Silva says:

    Get the drunk people and leave my people akon..cuz no matter what…THEY STILL GONNA DO IT……

  28. This is very interesting to me to read all the people who are so discriminating against law enforcement. I believe that there are good officers up there and I admire that they put their life in danger to protect ours. Thank you officers

  29. Niko Luna Niko Luna says:


  30. Scott Guire Scott Guire says:

    Oh cool. Unconstitutional and illegal stops with out suspicion.

  31. Niko Jason was in that one. Right by our old house.

  32. 6 pm that’s ridiculous, people are getting home from work

  33. Thank you Santa Clarita law enforcement for putting your lives on the line even for people who don’t appreciate your sacrifice. Thank you and may God protect you. There are so many crazy people out there.

    • msc545 says:

      There seems to be some confusion here. I think everyone agrees that we need to do everything we can to get drunk drivers off the street. It is the Sheriff’s job to do this, with the assistance of citizens (call 911 when you see someone driving really badly – it may help). What we are all arguing about is HOW this should be done, both as a practical and legal matter. As a practical matter, the data from the Sheriff suggests that the checkpoints simply do NOT work in catching drunk drivers, probably because about 10 minutes after they put one up everyone knows, either via the internet or friends, exactly where it is. The saturation patrols work a lot better. As a legal matter, while it may be OK for the police to stop you briefly to see if you look intoxicated (which seems like a pretty unsure method), it most certainly is NOT OK for them to start asking you questions or asking for your driver’s license or insurance or anything else. I contend that those are violations of our Constitutional prohibitions regarding search and seizure, and the need for probable cause and warrants. None of this has anything to do with “not appreciating” law enforcement. Part of appreciating people who provide a service to you is to help them provide that service in an effective and appropriate way, which is why I am writing this. Those of you that cannot comprehend this either cannot read, cannot think, or both.

  34. Dave Raines says:

    Patrols are meant to catch active drunks, get them off the streets and prosecute them. Checkpoints are highly visible, highly publicized events meant to deter drinking and driving in the first place.

    Patrols have little deterrent value, but high enforcement value. Checkpoints have been shown to have the potential to lower DUI fatality rates by up to 20 percent by virtue of their deterrence. People go through them, drive past them, hear about them via multiple grapevines and get the ongoing impression that drunk driving is dangerous, socially unacceptable, and that law enforcement is actively looking for it.

    They are both good tactics and both should be in the arsenal of DUI combating tactics, along with others. In terms of catching drunks, nothing beats patrols. In terms of saving lives, nothing beats checkpoints.

  35. Dave Raines says:

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints meet the Fourth Amendment standard of “reasonable search and seizure.” The Court is, by force of Article III of the Constitution itself, the final arbiter and interpreter of the Constitution. We may not agree with what they rule. But what they rule is law until reinterpreted by a later court. We can whine, but they win, not because of a left or right wing conspiracy, but because the Constitution itself says so. In addition, court rulings over the last 20 years have put more and more restrictions on checkpoints, leaving them less obtrusive and more transparent, with less chance of abuse.

    • msc545 says:

      Yes, David, but there is more to it than that. The Court’s Opinion in the matter specifically justified a Fourth Amendment exception because they believed that drunk driving was a severe threat to the public. The opinion said nothing about asking for driver’s licenses or anything else. The local Sheriffs, based on their own data, are NOT catching any drunk drivers, but instead seem to be catching people driving without a license, which is not something that the Supreme Court authorized in it’s Fourth Amendment exception. Furthermore, in less the police have probable cause to suspect that someone has no driver’s license, they have no right to ask for one as they did not observe the person committing a traffic violation and therefore need the data from the license to write a ticket. They also can ask all the questions they want but again have no right to expect answers, as we have the right to avoid self-incrimination.

      I contend that since the Sheriff cannot catch any drunk drivers in the checkpoints, they have a duty to the community to use a method that DOES work since drunk drivers endanger everyone.

  36. msc545 says:

    In regard to your post describing the purpose of patrols vs. checkpoints:

    1. Is there any evidence at all that checkpoints deter drunk driving, or is that just an assumption made to justify their existence ? If drunk driving is reduced in areas where checkpoints are implemented, is there any evidence that you are not simply catching fewer people because you have diverted resources from patrols to checkpoints ?

    2. What evidence do you have that “patrols have little deterrent value” – or is that just an opinion ? I know for a fact that when people see a marked police car the driving gets better very quickly all around them. I know this because I have personally observed it many times as have most people.

    3. What is wrong with something that has high enforcement value, like patrols, which you readily admit to ? Each person you arrest is one more drunk driver off the street and to me that has very high value.

    3. You say, “Checkpoints have been shown to have the potential to lower DUI fatality rates by up to 20 percent by virtue of their deterrence. People go through them, drive past them, hear about them via multiple grapevines and get the ongoing impression that drunk driving is dangerous, socially unacceptable, and that law enforcement is actively looking for it”

    How is it that you know all this ? Do you have any data to support all of these conclusions, or is this again just your opinion ?

    An alternative explanation is that people see them, hear about them, find out where they are (very easy to do), avoid them, and still drive drunk. Isn’t it better to patrol and get these people off the street ?

    I think the real reason that police like checkpoints is because they are easy to set up, require little work, generate overtime pay, and are revenue positive to the government.

  37. Dave Raines says:

    msc545, the court, in Michigan v Sitz, was only ruling on DUI checkpoints, not on whether asking for a license was okay. It was not a matter for that court at that time. Both state law and subsequent case law have held that, when you are stopped for any reason, law enforcement may ask for your driver’s license, being as that is the certification showing that you are legally entitled to operate a motor vehicle. You later be able to contest the reason for stopping you, but requiring you to show a drivers license when you are the driver is totally legal. Otherwise, why even have a license at all?

  38. Dave Raines says:

    msc545, the answer and evidence to most of your questions lies in multiple studies which were compiled in a CDC meta-analysis – http://www.thecommunityguide.org/mvoi/AID/sobrietyckpts.html .

    1) See CDC meta-study for evidence. Most of these studies were pulling crashes statistics from before and after periods of DUI checkpoints and looking for any rises or drops in number of fatal crashes. The numbers always dropped, anywhere from 3% to 26%.
    2) When seeing a patrol car or even someone puled over, you have no idea whether they were getting busted for DUI, speeding, running a red light, robbing a bank, or a broken tail light. There is no deterrence from any specific activity.
    3)Nothing is wrong with the high enforcement value of patrols, which is why I wrote, “They are both good tactics and both should be in the arsenal of DUI combating tactics, along with others.”
    To your last point (also labeled #3), because the studies I allude to above reflect actual drops in actual fatal crashes in the days, week and months after a series of high visibility, highly publicized checkpoints.

    • msc545 says:

      Meta-analysis has the disadvantage of of masking methodological error in the original studies unless one has access to them which I do not.

      1. The CDC meta study is meaningless both for the above reason and for the very fundamental reason that it is a post – hoc analysis that confuses correlation and causation. The fact that the number of crashes dropped cannot be attributed to the presence of of checkpoints.

      2. I think that the presence of police deters people from any unlawful activity, including DUI. Deterrence from a specific activity is neither required or desirable.

      The checkpoints, at least the ones being run here in the SCV, are completely indefensible on both practical and legal grounds. Nobody is being caught, the number of crashes has not declined, and the law is being violated.

  39. msc545 says:

    You are right in that it is not necessary for the Court to rule on whether or not asking for drivers licenses it acceptable. It is not acceptable without there being probable cause of a crime having being committed. When people are stopped by police while operating a motor vehicle, they are stopped because the officer has probable cause to believe they have committed a crime and is thus entitled to ask for a license, primarily to use the information on that license to write a citation.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think that sitting in a line of cars at a checkpoint provides an officer the opportunity to observe a crime being committed absent obvious intoxication. For those that are NOT obviously intoxicated, it is probably legal to ask for a license, but for the rest of us it probably is NOT.

    I think you can see the slippery slope here – first you ask for a license, then you ask for insurance proof, then you ask for citizenship documents, etc. These kinds of requests are clearly abusive and illegal.

    I realize that most police officers hate the idea of probable cause, but until all of you get exempted from the entire Constitution like the NSA did, you’ll have to live with it.

  40. msc545 says:

    In the above response, I meant to say “for those that probably ARE obviously intoxicated…”

    We need an edit function here.

  41. Dave Raines says:

    msc545, wow that’s quite a leap you took there. First to heavily imply that meta-analysis is unreliable. In this case you have just basically called the researchers at the CDC corrupt liars. Since they came to a conclusion you don’t agree with, and they had access to the original studies, they must have consciously hidden the real facts and truths in order to further someone’s agenda. Then you justify it further by saying that you didn’t have the access that they did. Well, partner, here – http://www.thecommunityguide.org/mvoi/AID/sobrietyckpts_archive.html – is a link to the meta-analysis overview page. It has links to all the details and data. Here is an even newer one – http://www.thecommunityguide.org/mvoi/AID/sobrietyckpts.html. Now that excuse is gone. Since you are more of a traffic safety and research and statistics and empirical studies expert than all these people who did these studies, have at it.

    And then, how is seeing a cop going to keep a DUI from being a DUI? He’s already drunk when he drives by the cop who has pulled somebody over! “Whoo hoo, boy, there’s a cop, I better not drive drunk. Oh wait, I already am drunk.”

    • msc545 says:

      Dave, you either do not understand what I said, or you have deliberately misrepresented it. I will choose to believe the former as I doubt you would do anything dishonest. Let me explain:

      I didn’t heavily imply that meta-analysis is unreliable, I in fact said that it is meaningless unless each underlying study is examined for methodological errors. That was not done by the CDC, or if it was, they don’t say so or elaborate on this, and I think they would given the amount of work involved. But even if they did this there is a far more serious problem.

      (This has absolutely nothing to do with corruption or lying, and your hyperbole is not appreciated or necessary.)

      The second and far more serious problem with this type of analysis is that correlation does not equate to causation, and these types of studies assume that it does. Just because two things occur at the same point in time, or because one occurs right after the other, does NOT mean that one caused the other. This is a very common logical fallacy that you can easily look up yourself, but briefly, just because crash rates went down following the use of checkpoints that does not mean that checkpoints caused the decline.

      As to your example, you are right. Seeing a policeman won’t make someone sober but they might get caught. In the same way, avoiding a checkpoint, which is what people do here, will not only not make people sober, it will also allow them to keep on driving – drunk.

      You seem intent on defending checkpoints at all costs. The cost our community is presently paying is no apprehension of drunk drivers, overtime pay for police to stand on the street and perform illegal searches, and reduced service to the rest of the community while the checkpoint is active. None of this is acceptable.

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