Dozens of community members came out to support our campaign last night. Local residents made their own signs and brought them out to assist in the resistance effort. Our goal of turning away dozens of vehicles from the checkpoints was greeted with strong expressions of thanks from our neighbors in Oxnard.
We are fighting to stop the abuse and profiting off our backs. Again, we do not condone DUI, reckless driving, or driving without insurance, in fact we are fighting at all levels to change the laws that prohibit our community from getting drivers licenses. LICENCIAS Y DOCUMENTOS PARA TODOS!
Originally posted on the Ventura County Star: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/jul/08/oxnard-protesters-warn-drivers-of-checkpoint/
All photos by Colectivo Todo Poder al Pueblo Media Operations.
Oxnard protesters warn drivers of checkpointBy John Scheibe
Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:20 p.m.
|Checkpoint is on Channel Islands blvd. (Eastbound) right past Statham rd. (in front of Amar Ranch)|
“These are low-income workers who need a vehicle to get back and forth to work,” said Francisco Romero, a member of Todo Poder al Pueblo Collective, a group opposed to the impounding of vehicles by Oxnard police.
“Since 2009, we have seen a sharp increase in DUI checkpoints that have become less about checking for drunk drivers and more about the impounding of vehicles of unlicensed drivers.”
The protesters gathered peacefully along Channel Islands Boulevard, said Tom Chronister, an Oxnard police commander.
Latimer said police do so even though there is no legal requirement that they do this.
He added that the primary purpose of a checkpoint is not to catch unlicensed drivers but to nab those who are being the wheel while intoxicated. [?? – see below sign]
Whereas police might once find more than 17 drivers found to be driving under the influence when checkpoints first started years ago, Latimer said today they might nab one intoxicated motorist. And this is on a good night.
|Ventura Rd. southbound lane (Between Devonshire and Doris)|
Choosing a location for a checkpoint is based on where police have historically found intoxicated drivers, Latimer said.
“We look at historical data,” he said.
The cost of a DUI conviction can easily be more than $10,000, according to Oxnard police. This includes thousands of dollars in legal fees, as well as high car insurance rates and the cost of lost wages and work.
The data shows there has been more than a 50 percent increase in the number of vehicles seized over the past several years from these checkpoints, Romero said.
While his organization does not condone reckless driving or motorists operating a vehicle while under the influence, Romero said his group would continue to protest these checkpoints until a just solution is found for low-income workers who cannot afford the fees of getting an impounded vehicle back, which he said can total thousands of dollars.
The checkpoints, held on Channel Islands Boulevard at Dallas Drive and Ventura Road at Devonshire Drive, were held from 6 p.m. to midnight. Officers screened 828 drivers and conducted three DUI investigations, according to the report. One 46-year-old man was arrested for possession of paraphernalia used for narcotics, police said.