Undercover sting operations by law enforcement agencies aimed at catching DUI offenders with suspended licenses driving away from court are not uncommon. And last week, one such operation took place in Newport Beach, California.
Orange County sheriff’s deputies staked out the parking lot of the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach with the hopes of nabbing DUI offenders who attempted to drive away from the courthouse with suspended licenses.
"They’re driving on a suspended license, which obviously is a violation of the law, but they all stem from a DUI case, and all the funding dollars and all the enforcing efforts that we’re doing are to combat driving under the influence," Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Jeff Hallock told CBS Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, many of the people caught during such stings have no other way of getting to their court hearing. Instead of having a bench warrant issued if they are a no-show, they would rather run the risk of getting caught driving on a suspended license.
In California, when a person is arrested for a DUI, the California DMV may suspend that person’s license through a process known as the Admin Per Se (APS) action for a period of four months. Following a conviction for a DUI, the court notifies the DMV of the conviction and the DUI offender’s license will be suspended for a period of six months. This is called the Mandatory Action suspension. A DUI offender will get credit against the mandatory action suspension for any time the person’s license was suspended during the APS suspension.
If a person is caught driving with a suspended license, and the reason for the suspension was a California DUI, that person is looking at informal probation for up to three years, ten days to six months in county jail, $300-$100 in fines and fees, and installation of an ignition interlock device.
The Newport Beach sting yielded eight arrests over the course of just a few hours.