Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Saturation patrol snares numerous people in Bay Area

A saturation patrol was performed last weekend in the Bay Area, leading to a number of vehicles being stopped and a couple of people receiving drunk driving charges. Four police departments coordinated on the patrol, performing it last Saturday night starting at 6 p.m. and going until 2 a.m. the following morning. Seven other people had to perform field sobriety tests.

While a saturation patrol is quite different than a DUI checkpoint, it still serves as an important reminder about the differences between the two. A saturation patrol is when a high quantity of officers are concentrated in a smaller geographic area, and they are usually targeting a certain offense or behavior. They don't have a centralized checkpoint, like with a DUI checkpoint.

DUI checkpoints, though, have many rules that need to be observed and followed by the police. They have to inform the public when and where the DUI checkpoint will be performed, and while the checkpoint is performed, the police obviously have to follow the rules and protocols that they are charged with upholding.

In the absence of this compliance, the police risk negating some or all of the arrests and charges that they racked up during the checkpoint.

This is important to remember, because many people may immediately assume that just because they were caught for drunk driving at a checkpoint that they have absolutely no recourse. To the contrary, you certainly do. You may not get out of the charge completely -- though it's possible -- but you could limit the damage by bringing in a criminal defense attorney to fight for your case.

Source:, "2 Arrested During DUI Saturation Patrol," Bea Karnes, Nov. 20, 2014

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