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DUI Checkpoint Nabs 8 Drunk Drivers

Others arrested for driving without a license or driving on a suspended license

Eight people were arrested on charges of driving under the influence at two checkpoints in Petaluma Friday evening.

The Petaluma Police Department periodically puts up DUI checkpoints as a way to get intoxicated drivers and those with suspended licenses off the road. The first checkpoint was located on North McDowell Blvd at Rand Street and the second at Petaluma Boulevard North and Oak Street.

The arrested include:

Ronald Rogers, 44, from Petaluma 
Lori Cooper, 58, from Petaluma 
Gayle McCullough, 70, from Petaluma 
Martin Bolek, 46, from Petaluma 
Jeremy Clark, 29, from Rohnert Park 
James Allison, 64, from Petaluma 
Miguel Hernandez, 37, from Petaluma 
Carlos Vides, 45, from Rohnert Park 
Koji Yoshida, 44, from Petaluma 

The police also cited three drivers for not having a license, five for driving on a suspended license and two for drug possession. The checkpoints are funded by  a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to help combat the prevalence of drunk driving. 

However, the checkpoints have been criticized by some residents who say they unfairly target undocumented immigrants who cannot obtain a driver's license and after they are entered into the criminal justice system.

What do you think of the DUI checkpoints? Are they an effective tool for getting drunk drivers off the road? Or are they an invasion of privacy? Tell us in the comments below.

wendy webster June 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Given how many innocent people are killed by drunk drivers I applaud this effort to keep my locale safe. I do NOT want to be the next victim!
Chad M. June 10, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Any one of those 8 people could have killed someone last night, so it's hard to argue that the checkpoints are not effective. There is little doubt that if people know they could get caught there is a far greater likelihood that they will think twice about drinking and driving.
Elle Hammer June 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM
If you don't want to get in trouble don't break the law. And if you think it is unfair and "targets illegal immigrants" well, if you want to be in this country then do so legally! When one of these people gets hit by someone with no license here illegally then they will change their tune.
Debbie Daunt June 10, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I completely agree with Elle! After a $2000 body shop repair bill I now carry uninsured driver coverage and suggest all Petalumans do so.
Marv Cantwell June 10, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Driving is a privelage: Obey the laws and you wont have issues. Illegals? Kinda speaks for itself. No license, no insurance, I hope they made them walk. I wonder what the stats are, that they ever go to court? Suspended license is the same. They should have walked and had the cars impounded.
The Fool June 10, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Driving may be a privilege, but enforcement of the laws surrounding that privilege are not always equally enforced. I actually think checkpoints, focused specifically on DUIs, are a good thing, on the whole. I just want to be careful making the dangerous implication that rights are not needed if we all follow the law.
Darris June 11, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Can't throw the baby out with the bathwater on this issue. As a victim of someone driving impaired 38 years ago I whole-heartedly support check points. My life was forever changed the day that driver slammed into us severing my leg. I see people weaving and driving aggressively nearly everyday out here at the coast . . . it's frightening . . . Driving is a privilege.
LongTimeLocal June 11, 2012 at 07:58 AM
You can always get a licence honored in the USA. If you are not legally here, get one in your home country which is recognized here. But that's too much trouble... And yes, you can get insurance too - Lemus here in town specializes. So those are the facts, Check them. Don't want to do it? Get the bus.
Active Thinker June 12, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Funny...look at the names most are not Latino names, so that whole arguement of deporting is lame...and none of them are even young drivers...what a SHAME....glad to have DUI check points...they should be doing at the bars at 2 AM when they spill out on the streets...I have seen them then get into the cars and drive off...bummer they don't get caught
Active Thinker July 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Agree 100%...why do I have to pay extra so that in case I get hit but someone without insurance? Yes they can take the bus..they should...have a job...well then plan for it...it's called responsibility...can't have a legal licence...then no legal car...

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