by Lauren Gard
Hey Concordians-if you drink and drive after 9pm tonight, avoid the intersection of Monument and Erikson, where you'll run smack into a DUI checkpoint. That's the warning the CoCoTimes has so thoughtfully shared with its readers. The sobriety check is the first of eight to be held over the next two years as part of the state's "Report Drunk Driving - Call 911" program. Good to know, for sure-but isn't this the kind of thing that should come as a surprise, sans PR?
It also begs the question-how the heck can checkpoints be constitutional? Don't they blatantly violate the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable search and seizure? Not according to the Supreme Court, which has hashed out the issue a few times. But Los Angeles lawyer Lawrence Taylor thinks that's bullhonkey. His DUI Blog is a veritable wealth of information on all things related to swigging & steering. For instance, what U.S. city operated the most DUI checkpoints in 2005? Good old Fresno, with 94.
Curious to know how problematic drunk driving really is around here? Nearly half of Contra Costa's 74 motor vehicle deaths last year were alcohol-related. Same goes for Alameda County, which recorded 105 car-related deaths in 2005. And a recent survey of California teens found that about a third of eleventh graders and 14 percent of ninth graders had either driven drunk or been in the car with a sloshed driver.
Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.