SPPD: DUI Checkpoint processes 600+ vehicles, holiday crackdown ahead

July 02, 2010
Santa Paula Police Department

Santa Paula Police were kept busy Saturday night when they checked hundreds of drivers as they passed through a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint to keep those under the influence as well as those driving illegally off the street.

And there’s more enforcement to come, as SPPD steps up watching for drunk drivers over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

According to Lieutenant Troyce Reynolds, the checkpoint - set up on East Harvard Boulevard at the 5th Street crosswalk - lasted from 6 p.m. to about midnight. “Approximately 675 cars passed through the checkpoint,” which Reynolds said resulted in one arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Eight others were cited for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license. “One of those driving without a license was also arrested for resisting arrest and several outstanding warrants,” but not, said Reynolds, until after he ran from the officers.

Fernando Garza, 25, of Santa Paula, was stopped as he drove thru the checkpoint “when he stated that he didn’t have a driver’s license. He exited his car, along with a female passenger, and was sitting at a table as a citation was being issued. At the time,” said Reynolds, Garza had given the officers a false name and date of birth.

“Suddenly, Garza jumped up and ran from the detainment area and fled westbound on Harvard Boulevard. Officers chased the subject, who eventually ran into an apartment in the 100 block of East Ventura Street.”

Reynolds said officers followed Garza into the residence and arrested him “after a brief struggle. During that altercation, Garza’s younger brother,” Jose Garza, 25, also of Santa Paula, “was arrested for obstructing and delaying the officers.”

Subsequently, Fernando Garza was charged with resisting arrest, giving false information to a police officer, and several outstanding warrants for possession of a controlled substance and driving DUI. “A charge of possession of a controlled substance was added to Jose Garza’s charges when narcotics were located on his person during the booking search.”

All in all, said Reynolds, “The checkpoint was a success, we were able to give out a lot of information and appeared to have had a lot of positive support from the public passing thru.” The checkpoint was part of a Summertime DUI campaign bringing increased enforcement and awareness of the dangers of driving while drunk.

“The SPPD is continuing its efforts at lowering the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes locally, and through Ventura County’s Avoid DUI Task Force Campaign with this DUI/Drivers License checkpoint.” Reynolds said during the checkpoint SPPD officers checked drivers to identify “offenders and get them off the street, as well as heightening awareness to the dangers of impaired driving.”

The summer months are a dangerous time of the year, and “Your odds of being involved in an alcohol involved collision can be high.” In 2008, law enforcement statewide reported 7,801 people were injured or killed during the three summer months of June, July and August.

“A major component of the checkpoints, beyond taking dangerous drivers off the road, is to increase awareness of the consequences of impaired driving and to encourage using sober designated drivers.” A DUI checkpoint, said Reynolds, “is a proven effective method for achieving this goal. By publicizing these enforcement and education efforts, the Santa Paula Police Department believes motorists are deterred from drinking and driving.”

The Santa Paula Police Department will also be partnering in this summer’s Avoid the 14 DUI Campaign, where all law enforcement agencies will put additional officers out on checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols during the Independence Day holiday and during the end of the August/Labor Day nationwide anti-DUI effort, Over the Limit, Under Arrest! Reynolds said law enforcement encourages everyone to “Report drunk drivers” by calling 911.

Funding for Saturday’s DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.