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16 arrested at Palo Alto DUI checkpoints

Original post made on Dec 21, 2009

A "sobriety checkpoint" at University Avenue and Seneca Street in Palo Alto netted nine drunk-driving arrests Saturday and seven at a Friday-evening checkpoint, Palo Alto police Officer Marianna Villaescusa said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 21, 2009, 10:33 AM

Comments (46)

Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Please post the names and addresses if the people that were arrested. The public deserves to know. Thank you.


Posted by GetAnEditor, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2009 at 2:31 pm

"mulit-agency police"


do you guys even have an editor?


Posted by Kumar, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

"" to GetAnEditor""

If this is all you can pick on, you may need a hobby.

Great job to the folks involved with this effort.

Merry Christmas to all.


Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 21, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Just think people, the 16 that were arrested were prevented from possibility killing/maiming another 30-40 people, assuming the average of 2.5 people per vehicle prevails ! Good Job PD...Keep up
the strict enforcement..P.S. Don;t advertise where your check points are ! People just take an alternate route, taking the element of
surprise and enforcement from you....


Posted by bikes2work, a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:05 pm

I agree with Bill. Post the names.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:16 pm

we feel the best prevention is to publish the names, photos, occupations and home of those arrested.
these days there is no excuse for this behavior, we have higher BAL than most other countries, which is ok ,but you have to drink a lot in a short period of time to exceed our limit.
The limit should be much lower for police officers, pilots, and truck drivers and MDs, in fact there should be zero tolerance for those who are on call 24/7 such as police officers or MDs.


Posted by cc, a resident of Southgate
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Actually, I rolled thru that checkpoint and do believe I saw at least 2 mulit-agency Officers working together...


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Please post their photos, as well as names and addresses. Do the cops take mug shots after all arrests? These are public record, right?


Posted by Joey, a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm

You want the names? Just look on the PAPD record! It's all there - available to the public


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm



cc when you say "I saw at least 2 mulit-agency Officers working together.."

What do mean?

There has been a lot of concern recently with PAPD officers getting away with DUIs and not being fired, is that what you are referring to?

We would like to know the PAPD record on this matter,
are there officers on the PAPD force who have been convicted of DUI?

We need to know as taxpayers.


Posted by someperson, a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:32 pm

> Please post the names and addresses if the people that were
> arrested. The public deserves to know. Thank you.

Arrest is not enough... They have not even been found guilty yet


> P.S. Don;t advertise where your check points are ! People just take > an alternate route, taking the element of surprise and enforcement > from you....

That is required under law.

The Supreme Court added and California adopted the following stipulations that must be adhered to, in order for the stops to be legal:

Checkpoints must be published in advance
Locations of checkpoints are to be picked based on drunk driving statistics
Time frame must be scheduled for effectiveness and minimum intrusiveness
Roadside stops must be made according to a formula - not by random or profile targeting
Alternate driving routes must be available
Warning lights and signs must be clearly visible to alert drivers of slow downs and hazards
Drivers cannot be detained beyond what is minimally necessary
A supervisor is required to authorize all actions, not arresting officers



We have higher BAL > than most other countries, which is ok ,but you have to drink a lot > in a short period of time to exceed our limit.

3 drinks in two hours for someone that is 180 lbs can be .08 Web Link for details. That does not seem like "a lot" to me.

Other countries also have .08 as well...

Ireland, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Mayaysa, Singapore.

> Please post their photos, as well as names and addresses. Do the
> cops take mug shots after all arrests? These are public record,
>right?

Arrest, fines & visits to the court house are not enough? Should we put have people wear a sign in public as well? They have not even been found guilty yet... Innocent till proven guilty right?


Before you attack me... I did not say that DUI was a good thing...


Posted by Thoughts, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I don't see how publishing their names/photos would help anyone. It's not like if you knew who they were, you could avoid driving on the roads with them, or convince them to stop driving drunk. They would just be shunned. They are already punished through our justice system...let's not start any scarlett letter shenanigans in palo alto.

as for those who mentioned "innocent until proven guilty"...if they blow above a .8 or whatever... and they were driving...is it not obvious? is this even a concern?


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Someperson beat me to this post, but I'll click "Submit" anyway in full agreement.

Sobriety checkpoints are treading close to our constitutional protections, though I know many who would happily flush the Bill of Rights. The California Supreme Court has established guidelines which include signage and advanced publicity. I applaud our law enforcement for their careful application. A balance exists between public safety and probable cause. Somebody a long time ago said it best: Those who sacrifice freedom for security shall have neither.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm

We are not talking about shunning people who commit adultery (even if they are big sports stars). People who intentionally risk the lives of their friends and neighbors, on the other hand, deserve to be branded as the terrorists that they really are. I say print their names. Print their mug shots. Print their addresses. If you want to be sympathetic to a convicted terrorist, that is your business, but don't tell me what I should think.

If this information is already published in the police department record, where do I find that?


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 10:06 pm

OK, I found the police log here: Web Link Log
However, I only see 3 DUI arrests over the weekend. Why does the newspaper report say there were 16 arrests? Is there some kind of cover up going on? Or is 16 arrests just a big exaggeration?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm

if you are going to drive a 2 drink limit in 2 hours is reasonable unless you are a police officer, medic, pilot etc on duty or on call in which case there should be zero tolerance.
the US military restricts troops to 2 drinks per evening unless on leave and zero in combat zones,in which case they cannot drink, that sounds reasonable to us.

If people want to get intoxicated they should have a designated driver, walk or get a cab, bus or train.


Posted by Sharon please..., a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:25 am

"The limit should be much lower for police officers, pilots, and truck drivers and MDs, in fact there should be zero tolerance for those who are on call 24/7 such as police officers or MD"


When a doctor or anyone else for that matter is on call, they are essentially at work. When a police officer, doctor, or medic goes home they have no legal responsibility to respond. While one could argue as a civil servant or medical practitioner your always obligated to help your community 24/7, If I'm off the clock and wan't to get plastered thats my decision and people like you can't tell me otherwise.

As a medic, your saying after a 80 hour work week I can't go sit at a bar? Have a few cold ones with a friend, and then go home in a responsible manner.

Sharon, your impractical and radical. Don't impose your selfish tactics on the rest of us. Thank god and the forefathers of our great nation for making sure people with radical ideas like you own can't run the show.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:26 am

To say nothing of driving while sleep deprived, while on cell phone, while refereeing kids in back seat, while late for appointment, while thinking about disagreeable posts on PA Online, etc. Most accidents are not alcohol related. Be careful out there.


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:13 am

In what sane realm are people suggesting that their names, occupations, mug shots, etc. all be posted? Or calling people arrested for drunk driving "terrorists"?

This gives both Puritans and the concept of hyperbole a bad name.

What's next?

Stocks? Tar and Feather them? Make them wear big red "DD" on their chests?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:26 am


We need to face the reality that intoxication creates serious handicaps in the modern world, we do not live on farms and ride horses anymore.

"If I'm off the clock and wan't to get plastered thats my decision and people like you can't tell me otherwise"

Binge drinking causes cognitive impairments that last well overnight and far into the next day.

Commercial pilots, truck drivers etc will loose their licenses if they try to drive or fly, the same standards should and will soon apply to the police,EMT and MDs.

Binge drinking was fine for single agricultural workers for whom the most complicated technology was a plow or a mule, those days are long gone


Posted by tony, a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:42 am

sharon:

Check your facts. Do you really know that the military restricts its members to two drinks?
As a currently serving military member I have NEVER seen this requirement whether we are on leave or not on leave. Although we stress to the highest degree to not drink and drive, we do not impose any limits on the amount of alcohol you can drink with the exception of inside combat zones.
In combat zones, depending on where you are, the limit is either 2-3 drinks or zero. Iraq and Afghanistan is zero for US personnel.
Please don't comment on what you do not know.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 9:41 am

Who kills more Americans every year, drunk drivers or Al-Qaeda? Drunk drivers are the real terrorists in this country and that won't change unless we treat them like the terrorists that they are.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:08 am


generally alcohol is prohibited on all navy surface ships and submarines at all times with one exception when the limit is 2 beers.
Beer Day is a tradition in the United States Navy.
After 45 consecutive days out to sea, but not within 5 days of reaching a port, the Commanding Officer can authorize two beers for each crew member over the age of 21 (18 in some commands).
This is generally the only exception to the US Navy's prohibition of alcohol aboard ship.


For any officer in any branch of the military a DUI is these days a career ending event, the same should apply to police officers.

The military has looked long and hard into the effects of alcohol on performance in a high tech/ high threat environment.

Their Zero limit or in some cases 2 beer limit is evidence based.

In civilian life people in high tech/ high threat jobs should have similar rules, ie professional drivers, pilots, police, medics and emergency workers etc.
If they want to get drunk they should find another line of work.
Even lawyers and judges can be disbarred if they are intoxicated or under the influence during trial.
The days of 3 martini lunches ended for business men 30+ years ago.


Posted by mary anne, a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:45 am

Yes, please do list the names of dui arrests. We might avoid letting our children take a ride with these drivers and thus avoid incidents like the New York mother who killed so many. We all need to know who these drivers are.


Posted by Stayed home, a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:48 am

If you look at several days of police reports, you can find 13 DUI arrests over the weekend in the north Palo Alto area. Only 5 or 6 of them took place at the Seneca spot, according to the police logs. Some were a few blocks away.

Maybe the arrests made by non-Palo Alto officers aren't reported in the P.A. police log? It's confusing.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:50 am

Drunk drivers are like pedophiles. Some of them will never be permanently cured. Parents are so scared of pedophiles, but drunk drivers kill more innocent people every year.


Posted by jason, a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

Would someone please post exact information on how to access the DUI records. Thank you.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:04 am


Those convicted of DUI should have it recorded on their drivers license, maybe even their car license plates.
That way parents would know who they could trust to drive their children and drivers know would which cars to be wary of.

As most serious DUIs are repeat DUIs this would also alert law enforcement to high risk drivers whom they could monitor and observe more closely for probable cause to stop and test for impairment.


Posted by MADDC - Mad Against Drunk Driving Cops, a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:26 am

What everyone should find outrageous is the fact that the PAPD officer arrested and convicted of a DUI, his name will remain out of the public's view. They (PAPD) receive special treatment.

Bill and everyone from earlier posts, should demand answers for his or her's non-public DUI disclosure from chief Dennis Burns and city attorneys Gary Baum and Don Larkin.

You will be astonished at they answers to not reveal his or her name.



Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:57 am

Bill, I cannot stand DUI folks, either, but you need to check your defitinions. Terrorist? Defined as: radical who employs terror as a political weapon

You water down your arguments when you misuse language to get your point across. Terrorists and drunk drivers are dangerous, but they're not the same thing.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

George Bush will disagree with you about the definition of the word "terrorist".


Posted by paul, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Leave the poor drunks alone. They're not hurting anybody


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Bill, I bet you're right about former Pres. George Bush (the latest one)! But then again, I doubt he's ever cracked a dictionary, but I have. And him not agreeing only underscores my point about not misusing language to make a point ;-)


Posted by Sharon please...., a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Last post of mine, but my ultimate message is love it or leave it. I'm going to be the guy that will always fight for the right to get smashed at a bar after a hard week. As long as I drive home under 0.08, or with a friend, im not going to let people like you interfere with my life. I'm going to be the guy that believes in innocent before guilty, trial be peers, gun ownership to all, the vote to those over 18. This is America, and I dont impose my thoughts of how housewives should make husbands sandwiches, or be at their beck and call after a day at work. So don't impose your thoughts on me.

If I do what I want in my free time thats my choice, if I break the law I loose my license. Any DUI for a medic is now means for loss of state licensure permanently. However, if I decided to go to a bar and a freak earthquake happens, im going to go home and sit it out instead of getting involved, if im to hung over im going to call in sick. I'm an individual as well and im not a slave to you or anyone else in the community. Police officers can quite, so can MDs, for you to think they are available at your beck and call is ridiculous, go move to some dictatorship, or Europe, but get out if you dont like it.


Posted by internet is a small world, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm

If you want to see what these individuals look like, look at the palo alto police log, then search on myspace and facebook. While im not condoning stalking or harassing these individuals its all public information and it is their choice to make mistakes, have criminal records and post their whole lives for everyone to see.

Its interesting they all look like tramps and thugs.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I only see 3 of alleged 16 DUIs listed in the PAPD log for last weekend. Were the other 13 redacted for some reason?


Posted by another-person, a resident of Green Acres
on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:32 pm

> Those convicted of DUI should have it recorded on their drivers
> license, maybe even their car license plates.

> That way parents would know who they could trust to drive their
> children and drivers know would which cars to be wary of.

> As most serious DUIs are repeat DUIs this would also alert law
> enforcement to high risk drivers whom they could monitor and
> observe more closely for probable cause to stop and test for
> impairment.


A much better to having cars marked is to require an interlock if someone has been convicted of a DUI.

You can find more info here: Web Link

This is far better prevention than having a license or car marked. This keeps people from driving and does a far better job of keeping the kids safe.

A DUI convection is put on the license. People who NEED this kind of information can get it.


Posted by so bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm

To-Bill...

How would an interlock system not reduce this problem?


Posted by Wondering, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Bill, what are you planning to do to these people when you get their information?


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:35 pm

We do not feel that DUI offenders are in the same category as pedophiles or terrorists-- to claim so is nonsense

However DUI is a serious problem and our military has an evidence based approach to dealing with the matter.
In their high tech/high threat environment they have Zero tolerance for drugs and a reasonable approach to alcohol, 2 drinks are the limit.
This limit coincides with the medical research on alcohol use, 2 drinks per day per man, less for women, has health benefits, more is a case of diminishing returns.
As a society we have done a good job of reducing smoking, we can do the same with reducing drinking.
In Italy drunks are social pariahs and they have low rates of alcoholism as a result.
The current BAL rules for driving are ok, we just need social norms that discourage drinking above the limit.
Certain occupations require lower limits or Zero tolerance but for most civilians 2 drinks are reasonable, it is not rocket science.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm

You don't see me saying "Hang him high and let him swing" like I see in some other threads in this forum.

We just need to keep an eye on convicted drunk drivers, just like we need to keep an eye on convicted pedophiles and other criminals with potentially dangerous and incurable conditions. If any of these people are my friends or relatives, I will do my best to make sure they never drive drunk (and hopefully never even get drunk) again.

But unless their names are publicized, we are not going to be able to be able to help them keep our streets safe.


Posted by PA is for the birds, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:18 am

Why would you want to know the names of whom ever was arrested? Its not a good thing to hope that someone has a problem to make yourself do better. The fact is some of us are just better drivers, I myself think or know that I can drive better atfer 12 beers than most of you "Palo Alto Geeks" can drive sober. Get a life and youll be interested in much more that the name of the DUI offenders. Wow.....


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:57 am

People like Mr. 12 Beers (previous post) are why we need much tougher DUI laws.


Posted by sally, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

go catch the real crimes... find the murders and the rapist..

love how CA is using the checkpoints as an easy way to collect money for CA


Posted by Bill, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Killing someone because of DUI is murder in my book.


Posted by calcheckpoint, a resident of Southgate
on May 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm

"We should never drink and drive, but I still like to know where checkpoints
will be in Orange County, San Diego, and LA. I may use calcheckpoint
(www.twitter.com/calcheckpoint) to find out where they are."


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