A controversial DUI checkpoint for drivers in Escondido, CA is now the subject of a court case. According to driver Angel Navarrette and passenger Daniel Alfaro, a heated exchange took place at that checkpoint, resulting in their arrest for resisting a police officer. Dashcam video of the incident shows the police officer threatening to break the window when the driver apparently refuses to roll it down. The police officer told Navarrette he would be arrested, but apparently did not tell him why. Attorneys for the two asked the court to suppress all evidence, claiming that their clients’ fourth amendment rights were violated when the officer broke the vehicle window.
According to Isaac Blumberg, the attorney for Alfaro, the police department of Escondido does not follow proper procedures when checking drivers at the town’s checkpoints. A retired police officer who saw the video suggested that the charges should be dropped. As he told a news reporter, no law exists stating a driver has to roll the window all the way down for a police officer.
The Escondido Police Department has been checking drivers for possible DUI’s since 2004. Critics of the procedure claim that the checks are also a way to check for illegal immigrants, since drivers’ licenses are checked as well. According to city officials and those in the department, the checks have led to fewer DUI crashes and hit-and-run incidents. The Police Department did not provide any comments regarding this particular case or the video.
If you are caught in a similar situation and feel you may have been treated unfairly by a police officer, you do have an advocate. Contact an experienced advocate to help you see the options you have available to you. Glen Neeley is a board-certified attorney who has successfully won countless cases similar to this one for his clients, and looks forward to doing the same for you.