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Novato DUI Checkpoint Nets 1

11 vehicles towed for misdemeanors

Novato DUI Checkpoint Nets 1

There was one arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol out of 1,336 vehicles checked Friday evening when the Novato Police Department conducted a sobriety checkpoint at the intersection of West Campus Drive and San Marin Drive on the city's north side.

The sole DUI arrest occurred at 7:36 p.m., according to statistics released by Sgt. Oliver Collins. Officers cited 11 drivers for other moving violations. The first citation was issued at 5:50 p.m. and the last one at 9:58 p.m. 

Eleven vehicles were towed away due to misdemeanor violations. Those are typically suspended California driver’s licenses or in the case of at least one driver, not even having a valid license at all, Collins said. He added that individual caught Friday had not had a valid driver’s license since 2009. 

There was no enforcement of insurance or registration during the checkpoint unless it was a lesser-included charge along with a driver’s license violation. 

Normally, towed vehicles can be returned to the owner the next day so long as a licensed driver is picking it up and proof of registration and insurance can be provided. There is a $130 police release fee as well as a towing and overnight storage fee to the garage of $65. The longer a car owner leaves it stored, the more it costs to retrieve it.

Driving on a suspended license in California can be expensive and “time” consuming. A first-time conviction carries a minimum fine of $300 and a maximum fine of $1,000.  There can be penalty assessments and/or imprisonment for five days to six months. A second offense within five years will get you a minimum penalty of $500 and a maximum fine of $2000.  Jail time can be for 10 days up to one year.

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