See the update at the end of this post about a commenter to our original post being correct about the checkpoint location being in a minority neighborhood and stats from the police department.
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 5, 6:09 A.M.: Sobriety checkpoints: they're not just for weekends and holidays any more.
That's what to make of the Costa Mesa Police Department operation scheduled from 6-11 tonight.
Costa Mesa to Stop Announcing Sobriety Checkpoint Locations
Jim Righeimer, Costa Mesa Councilman, Cop Critic and Pension Cutter, Alleges DUI “Set Up”
Costa Mesa Cops Respond to Intimidation Claim by Supporters of Council Candidate Righeimer
The DUI/drivers license checkpoint, which seeks to pluck boozy and unlicensed drivers off the road, will be held somewhere in Costa Mesa as the police agency does not reveal the locations of the ops beforehand.
Your only clue, according to the cop shop: “Checkpoints are typically placed at locations that provide the greatest opportunity for deterring impaired driving and providing the greatest safety for the public and officers.”
So would that be the road between Skosh Monahan's and Councilman Jim Righeimer's house? It is the night before the election, after all.
While we may not know exactly where the checkpoint will be, we do know how it will be funded: with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
UPDATE, NOV. 6, 3:24 P.M.: To our original announcement that the Costa Mesa Police Department was holding a DUI checkpoint in an undisclosed location Monday night, commenter tobias0981 observed, “Hmmm… I'm no psychic, but I think the checkpoint will be where most of the minorities are so it will be near the 19th.”
If the 19th refers to 19th Street, it was not quite there but sort of close. According to police, it was along Placentia Avenue and Joann Street, a heavily Latino area near Estancia High School. Indeed, it's heavily Latino from below 19th and Placentia up to that very spot of the checkpoint, before (heading north) Placentia winds around Fairview Park and one finds oneself in Costa Mesa's affluent Mesa Verde community.
Police do not break down the ethnic makeup of those stopped, but here are the stats the department released today:
607 vehicles through the checkpoint
511 vehicles screened
5 field sobriety tests administered
2 DUI-alcohol suspects arrested
0 DUI-drug impaired suspects arrested
16 drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked
4 other citations issued (unrelated to unlicensed or suspended/revoked license)
2 non-DUI arrests (warrants, felonies, etc.)
5 vehicles stored or impounded
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.