Watch Out: OC Sheriff’s Department Executes a Special “Sting” Operation

On Monday, December 27, 2010, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, along with court personnel at the Harbor Justice Center, in Newport Beach, California, executed a special "sting" operation on people with suspended licenses and multiple DUIs. Deputies "warned" people with suspended licenses not to drive, but out of the 12 persons on calendar that morning, 4 made a bad choice and drove away from court. They were cited and their cars confiscated, with new court proceedings and probation violations to follow.

The funds to assist law enforcement in this effort were received from the California Office of Traffic Safety. Last quarter I watched the Irvine Police Department conduct a similar sweep at the Harbor Justice Center and early in the summer, the same sting happened at the North Justice Center in Fullerton. Obviously these efforts are to curb driving under the influence arrests and catch persons who are not complying with the requirements of their suspended licenses. But how far will we allow government to go? Is this specifically targeting certain individuals boarding on entrapment or should the "warning" remind or put those persons on suspended licenses that they accept the "risk" of being arrested again before they even leave the parking lot?

In light of new laws which became effective in July for second or multiple offenders, under certain circumstances, the early return of a license may occur when an ignition interlock device (called an IID) is placed on the car, along with attendance at specified alcohol education programs, a special SR-22 proof of insurance form and payment of reissue fees to the DMV. The IID is a simple breath machine attached to the steering column of the car and must be blown into with a zero alcohol reading for the car to start. Random "blows" while the car is moving are also required.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. If you or anyone else you know has a pending DUI or driving on a suspended license charge, know the legal requirements before you decide what to do. Contact an Orange County DUI lawyer today.

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