A state audit of DUI checkpoints in California finds that traffic safety officials follow rules for the oversight of sobriety checkpoints. However, that might not really be saying much, since state authorities are not really required to strictly monitor checkpoints anyway.
According to the audit, these impoundments generate millions of dollars in revenue for California authorities. Overall, according to the audit, between 2000 and 2010, there were more than 2,500 DUI checkpoints in California, and these resulted in about 20,000 citations to unlicensed drivers. However, only 7,000 drivers were cited for DUI.
The California Office of Traffic Safety funds more than 2,000 checkpoints across the state every year. The report by the California state auditor found that traffic safety officials have been following the limited rules in place for oversight of sobriety checkpoints in the state of California. Officials from the California Office of Traffic Safety are not required to oversee what happens at these checkpoints.
California DUI checkpoints have come under increased scrutiny by watchdog groups as well as San Diego DUI lawyers, because of the increase in non DUI- related activities being conducted at these checkpoints. For instance, at many checkpoints, persons are pulled over for license checks, and end up having their cars impounded if they are driving without a valid license.
At some checkpoints, the number of cars impounded for invalid licenses is higher than the number of persons arrested for DUI offenses. Persons whose cars are impounded at these checkpoints can expect to spend as much as $1,500 to get their cars released. Many of these checkpoints are conducted in areas that have high numbers of ethnic communities and low-income residents. These motorists very rarely manage to cough up the high fees required to get their cars released, and their cars end up for sale.