Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) is launching an intensive crackdown on impaired driving, according to their Citizen Observer website.

While the SAPD’s DUI checkpoints really don’t work, the good news is that they will also be employing “Saturation Patrols,” which do work.  But the bad news is that they have also announced their intention to conduct “driver’s license checks,” which is code for taking cars away from poor, hardworking undocumented immigrants.

Here are a the details about the SAPD crackdown:

The Santa Ana Police Department will join nearly 10,000 other law enforcement agencies nationwide in support of an intensive crackdown on impaired driving August 19–September 5, known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.

The problem of impaired driving is a serious one. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the number of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in America fell from 2008 to 2009, but the numbers are still too high.

The crime of impaired driving is a serious one. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people died nationally, and 950 in California, in crashes in which a driver or motorcycle rider was at or above the legal limit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The age group with the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes was the 21-to-24 age group.

The Santa Ana Police Department will be conducting a series of activities during the mobilization to apprehend impaired drivers. These will include the use of saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints. Our goal this year is to reduce the number of persons injured or killed in alcohol related collisions. During the 2010 August/ Labor Day mobilization there were 14 collisions in Santa Ana caused by impaired drivers. This resulted in five injuries and one fatality.

Our enforcement activities will begin on Friday August 19th with a DUI saturation patrol. Ten officers will be deployed throughout the city actively looking for impaired drivers. These saturation patrols will continue throughout the mobilization period. On August 26th, and September 3rd we will be conducting DUI checkpoints.

The Orange County Avoid the 38 DUI Task Force will also deploy DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints, Multi Agency DUI Task Force operations and local Roving DUI patrols during 18 day Summer/Labor Day Campaign. Our message is simple and unwavering: if we find you driving impaired, we will arrest you. No exceptions.

Contact Information

Contact Name: Officer W. Hadley

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 714-245-8216

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By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

13 thoughts on “SAPD to crackdown on impaired driving – and impound more cars too”
  1. Why don’t they just get a license? (No papers.) Why don’t they just get their papers? (No money)
    Why don’t they get a job? (No Papers) sounds like a vicious circle.

  2. I see no change in policy. After the criminal has done their time in jail, they will be sent to their country of origin.

  3. What a great life these people get to live.

    Without papers, they get: No License, No job, No home / apt, No benefits, No nothing.

    What do they get?

    Hang out at Home Depot working for cash, sleeping in bushes or flop houses, and being ripped-off by all the other street people.

    What is the deal? You hate your ethnicity so much you wish that kind of life upon our southern neighbors?

  4. Maybe its just me but isn’t driving without a license illegal. And isn’t it the police departments job to enforce the law. If illegal immigrants need transportation they can take public transportation. Why are you advocating that they be allowed to break a law.

  5. Obama is promising work permits for these who are not criminals so with that will come SSN and means to drive.

    Hopefully that will fix something and it is essentially consistent with my open border concept.

    The problem is that welfare is obviously also included (socialists always include dependency), so the financial burden on the county/city services will continue in expense of citizens.

  6. I should add that it would be a perfect solution if it would stress the concept of the Americanism:

    1) Assimilate.

    2) Embrace American opportunism.

    3) Compete by free marked forces.

    4) Reject protectionism.

    5) Promote life, liberty and happiness.

  7. Has very little to do about drunk drivers. Very little to do about criminal driving without a license. Has very little to do about illegal immigration.

    It is about applying a law unfairly for profit. Hoping to get people diverted who have other agendas and through their arguments assist the abuse to go forward.Those with agendas ignore the abusive law and concentrate on their agenda arguments.

    Politicians a great at creating this. It is why the USA is wavering. The residents divert from the real issues easily.


    An investigation by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley with California Watch has found:

    In response to the large number of unlicensed drivers on the road, the state of California implemented new laws in 1995 that gave law enforcement the right to seize a car on the spot. As expected, these laws have found some staunch advocates and some angry dissenters. Here are the particulars so you can generate your own opinion.

    Police Seizure

    According to the California Highway Patrol website, a law enforcement official can use Sections 14602.6 and 14607.6 of the California Vehicle Code to seize a car when a driver without a license, or with a revoked or suspended license, is caught driving.


    Read more: California Impound Law |

    The impound law granted police the authority to seize unlicensed drivers’ cars for 30 days. The California Attorney General’s Office said in a written statement that the state law is murky in terms of whether vehicles driven by unlicensed motorists can be taken at all.

    The seizures appear to defy a 2005 federal appellate court ruling that determined police cannot impound cars solely because the driver is unlicensed.

    In fact, police across the state have ratcheted up vehicle seizures. Last year, officers impounded more than 24,000 cars and trucks at checkpoints. That total is roughly seven times higher than the 3,200 drunken driving arrests at roadway operations. The percentage of vehicle seizures has increased 53 percent statewide compared to 2007.

    • Departments frequently overstaff checkpoints with officers, all earning overtime. The Moreno Valley Police Department in Riverside County averaged 38 officers at each operation last year, six times more than federal guidelines say is required. Nearly 50 other local police and sheriff’s departments averaged 20 or more officers per checkpoint – operations that averaged three DUI arrests a night.

    Additionally, the 2005 appellate court ruling includes exceptions, allowing police to seize a vehicle driven by an unlicensed motorist when abandoning it might put the public at risk. Examples include vehicles parked on a narrow shoulder or obstructing fire lanes.

    But reporters attending checkpoints in Sacramento, Hayward and Los Angeles observed officers impounding cars that appeared to pose no danger.

    Reporters also noted that many of the drivers who lost their cars at these checkpoints were illegal immigrants, based on interviews with the drivers and police. They rarely challenge vehicle seizures or have the cash to recover their cars, studies and interviews show.

    This wasn’t what lawmakers intended when they passed an impound law 15 years ago – the same law that the federal court has since questioned, said David Roberti, former president of the state Senate.

    Cities have their own money problems.

    Since 2007, the sales tax revenues of California municipalities have shrunk by $471 million, figures from the California State Board of Equalization show.

    Property values have withered, too, causing financial woes at every level of government.

    “If a city wants to try to raise revenue, in mostly all cases you have to go to the voters,” said Daniel Carrigg, legislative director for the League of California Cities. Local governments, instead, are adding to fees for services and fines for an assortment of violations.

    Local governments often charge unlicensed drivers a fine to get their vehicles released from impound – on average more than $150, finance records show. Cities, increasingly, also get a cut of the fees that tow operators charge vehicle owners, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    Some local governments ensure they get a larger share as their police departments seize more and more cars.

    In Los Angeles County, the city of Montebello requires its tow operator to increase its cut of impound revenue when the police department seizes a higher volume of cars.

    Tow company Helms and Hill Inc. pays Montebello $200 per tow when officers order more than 151 cars hauled away each month, the city’s finance records show.

    Montebello’s DUI checkpoints rank among California’s least effective at getting drunks off the road.

    Last year, officers there failed to conduct a single field sobriety test at three of the city’s five roadway operations, state records show.

    Montebello collected upward of $95,000 during the last fiscal year from checkpoints, including grant money for police overtime.

    The California Office of Traffic Safety, which is administered in part by officials at UC Berkeley, continues to fund Montebello’s operations, providing a fresh $37,000 grant for this year.

  8. Doc Art

    Why hasn’t the ACLU sued or filed a class action on this?

    I don’t care that the counties, cities and state makes money on impounding cars.

    I don’t care that unlicensed loose their cars, especially if they are driving uninsured throw away cars that they plan on abandoning and running away from after they kill or injure someone in a crash.

    I don’t care if scofflaws have to pay heavy fines for their actions and choices they freely choose.


    I do have a problem with the government, local and state, passing a law that appears in violation of the US constitution.

  9. “I do have a problem with the government, local and state, passing a law that appears in violation of the US constitution.”…… Hmmmm


    For all practical reasons there is no USA constitution. If there would be one we would be sovereign citizens instead of government’s subjects.

  10. Cook,

    “Why hasn’t the ACLU sued or filed a class action on this? ”

    This requires someone to approach the ACLU with a complaint. Possibly those concerned with car impounding do not know the unconstitutionality of the law application by municipalities.

    Based on the arguments of those addressing Santa Ana’s Safety committee I believe ignorance of the law is the reason.


    I do have a problem with the government, local and state, passing a law that appears in violation of the US constitution.”


    Your associated concerns,they are public safety issues, can be eliminated for the public’s safety by having driving licenses and the ability to have car insurance not be restricted while the immigration issue gets resolved by Congress.

    Politicians play with these types of issues and others as I sated above to keep residents busy with their non real agendas based on fears and/or bigotry to divert attention from their actions that will destroy The USA if we do not wake up.

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