Police position DUI checkpoints in unsuspecting areas

May 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are already starting the Memorial Day Weekend crackdown on drivers under the influence. Some of the checkpoints are where you would least expect them.

We usually see these DUI checkpoints at large intersections near highways, but this weekend you could run into one in a small community like Piedmont and there's a reason why.

The police are quite aware that drunk drivers take back roads through small communities, like Piedmont, to avoid dui checkpoints.

"It's easier to traverse, through side streets. You stay off the freeway. You're avoiding the Highway Patrol. You stay out of the main parts of Oakland and you're avoiding the heavy presence of officers in a larger community," said Piedmont Police Sgt. Michael Munoz.

However, Piedmont is surprising drivers with this full service DUI check point. The "Avoid 21" campaign pools the resources of 21 Alameda County police agencies. Friday night Hayward police is providing the mobile office, breathalyzer and blood testing.

"We have everything to facilitate that. The only thing we don't have is a mobile jail," said Hayward Police Ofc. Leon Limon.

In the past three years, 4,300 drivers have been snared in these Alameda County DUI checkpoints.

"When you get in a vehicle and you're under the influence it's just like picking up a gun. You know, that's the way they look at it," said Robert Luisotti.

One DUI arrest cost Luisotti $10,000 in legal fees and fines and that's not all.

"Well, basically, I lost my job that I had for four years. I was working NAPA Auto Parts and I was the main driver there," said Luisotti.

Other Bay Area police departments say they'll be teaming up this Memorial weekend to place DUI checkpoints in places where drivers least expect them.

Paying for all the police overtime is funded by a federal grant and this weekend you'll see those dollars at work since most departments will have extra officers out looking for drivers under the influence.


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