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Menlo Park checkpoint nabs 30 drivers

Original post made on Dec 28, 2009

A checkpoint in the 1000 block of Marsh Road in Menlo Park on Saturday (Dec. 26) netted 30 vehicles towed away between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. (on Dec. 27), including five for suspicion of drunken driving and 25 due to unlicensed drivers, Menlo Park police report.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 28, 2009, 11:20 AM

Comments (25)

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Posted by Davis
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

25 unlicensed drivers in a four hour period? That's staggering! What is the percentage of people out there driving without licenses? Maybe we should be having more of these checkpoints....I hate checkpoints, but this is an alarming statistic.


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Posted by get your facts straight
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Hey Davis - it was 25 unlicensed drivers in two 6 hour periods or in 12 hours, not 4 hours. Still a lot of unlicensed drivers. Wonder how many of those had other "identification" problems.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:46 am

There can't be unlicensed or uninsured drivers. After all, it's against the law, right?

The solution is clear. We need to pass more laws.


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Posted by Happy Resident
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

Go Menlo PD ! We should run check points all the time, not just for the holidays ! Every DUI person taken off the street, is a potential life/lifes saved ! Every suspended license person should have his/her car towed & impounded, big fines to reclaim..Then jail time ! Lots of trash out there ! Community service is a great program !


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Posted by What are you thinking?
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2009 at 10:51 am

Jail time for a suspended license? Puhlease. When people don't have their cars to get to and from their jobs, that's bad enough. When they have to do jail time for something petty, that's even worse. We need to reduce our budget, especially as pertains to these petty issues. The fines for driving on a suspended license are high, the fees for getting a car from the towyard are high. People need to be kept productive, to be able to deal with their problems without losing their jobs and getting a criminal record which will prevent employment.

DUIs are different - we all know that when one is busted for DUI, it's most likely not the first time they have driven drunk. What they're doing is exceedingly dangerous and it's criminal. That's why there are important distinctions between DUIs and having a license ssupended for not taking care of tickets. The DUI punishment is more severe, as it should be.


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Posted by Willy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Yeah! Throw them all into JAIL, especially those who don't look like "us".

And then we can complain about the absurd political strength of the prison guards union.... (again)

Fastest growing US industry? the prison industrial complex.


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Posted by DUI convictee
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:48 pm

I got a basic DUI last year around this time; the stop was illegal but the arrest itself was valid, and the cop lied about the stop in court to make it stick. The resulting DUI penalties and procedures were so expensive and unpleasant that everyone in my group of DUIs (you go through parts of the program in a group) said "never again". For a first offender of a basic DUI, there's also 3 years probation during which your BAL has to be zero whilst driving or it's a second DUI for you. On the second one, the penalties etc. are significantly more severe.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Extreme views such as the previous one remind me of how much we have to thankful for in a Bill of Rights that provides for the free expression of opinion, and a Constitution, body of laws, and set of judicial precedents that, more or less, safeguard what's left of our democratic republic.

We were a beacon to the world. We need to return to that enlightened state. So far, this administration seems unable to truly cut its ties to the previous one and start on that road.


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Posted by Be reasonable
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Why aren't check points put where affluent people can be caught equally, such as outside a Stanford game or outside parks with international low paid nannies? OH, because the poor can't afford to fight the citation and embarass incompetent police. Placing check points where suspected international visitors drive without a CA license appears racist. Give to the poor at Christmas and call the cops on them after.


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Posted by Willy
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

It's like the radar traps in Woodside in the mornings: they point the gun at those entering woodside in the morn - the low paid worker bees.

But not at the beemers and porsch leaving town...


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Posted by Time Correction
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm

The traffic stop was ONE (1) six hour period; beginning 8PM on the 26th and ending at 2AM the 27th.


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Posted by Owl
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

We need more random stops. Way to go MPPD!


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Posted by What are you thinking?
a resident of another community
on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:15 pm

I am relieved to read some reasonable posts on topic from Willy and Be reasonable. I often wonder why so many speeders in high end cars get away with it. I know the cops can't be everywhere, but when people habitually speed in residential areas, and I see the cops focusing on lower income areas such as where this checkpoint was, I wonder. I wouldn't wonder if it seemed that that various police agencies in the area were more even handed with their law enforcement.

DUIs are committed by people from all backgrounds. Yeah, hit the Stanford games, the Menlo games, expensive restaurants and bars.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:41 am

Interesting how some posters make issues a racial issue. I would think that the police conduct enforcements or extra enforcement in areas where high number of accidents occure and involving people who have been drinking. People who drink and drive are a hazzards to all. Some, convicted of drunk driving, continue to drive and eventually loose their license and still continue to drink and drive. This attitude must stop. Be thankful the police are out protecting and serving their communities.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:59 am

Well, a lot of you are flat out wrong and I've seen it first hand.

I was stopped in a DUI check point in a very affluent area (I don't drink and I was allowed to pass quickly). There were two drivers immediately in front of me who were taken off line for further testing. I can't say they were rich, but both were in expensive, late model Mercedes. I don't believe these officers discriminate or even care what your bank account looks like if you smell of alcohol.

Do I think the Atherton Police and Woodside's sheriff deputies give their "locals" a break on speeding? Absolutely. Do I think they give them a break on DUI? Not a chance.

Regarding the comment from "What are you thinking" that people who drive with a suspended licenses shouldn't be arrested or have their car impounded, I have a question for you. Let's say the police stopped an unlicensed driver - yes, it could be for not paying tickets, but it could also be that they have never taken a driving test, are convicted felons or non-reporting parolees, or have multiple DUIs. If the cop agreed with your point and said, "no big deal, I know what a hassle and how expensive it would be to impound your car and arrest you and I want to keep you productive," and then that unlicensed driver drove off and hit a member of your family or smashed into your car, what would you like done to that cop? Would you sue him?

Is that the kind of productivity you're trying to preserve?

My earlier point was that we need to enforce current laws, not just keep passing new ones. Unfortunatey, your attitude isn't part of the problem, it's THE problem.


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Posted by Kleengeen
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:12 am

We need more Almanac readers to take a basic arithmetic and English comprehension classes so they can accurately understand how to understand statistics and how they are compiled. Finally an Allied Arts neighbor got it right. And you wonder why immigrants can't pass rudimentary tests !!!


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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Cops will give DUI and other breaks to other cops and to their proven families and friends (who carry their cop-family or friend's business card or some other validation). Cops drive drunk too. I have seen some of the worst of that.


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Posted by Older citizen
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

We live in Atherton (that "affluent area") and always travel up Marsh Road, including the 1000 block, to get from US 101 to our home. I feel that its a great place to stop & check for DUIs, etc. Thank you MPPD.


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Posted by Kleenex
a resident of Atherton: other
on Dec 30, 2009 at 5:50 pm

I wonder how police officers react to those "11-99 Member" license plate frames all the rich people have.

It costs like $2500 or something so not everyone can get one. Lots of expensive cars have them.

Does it work to get you out of trouble?


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Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm


It's good to know the police are doing a good job protecting lives when most other communities just let the three martini lunchers get by and I have seen police car's right next to drivers in adjoining cities on phones, without seat belts attached and those wrongdoers are almost always in expensive cars.
A good area to live in if you are loaded when loaded.....not saying the police are corrupt, but golly, they sure are nice.
Makes me suspect a lot of emailers here are a bit sloshed when writing their "noise" or "bern" or "underground trains" in these times.People always gripe about me being from "another community". I have two houses and investment properties in three of your own communities....take your pick. The most expensive ones. I just happen to not drink and care about progress.


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Posted by Fielding Mellish
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm

25 "unlicensed drivers" = illegals. Why should we have to pay higher auto premiums so that others "paid wages under the table" get to drive without a license....? Don't get me started about healthcare reform. Gee, is there any particular reason why most of the emergency care facilities on our borders are bankrupt and closed? I believe in equal treatment for all....as long as you participate fairly by paying your individual share, including taxes and auto insurance. No, I am not an insurance agent...but I am a citizen of the USA.


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Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm

I believe the commentor FIELDING should have his facts checked before dismissing the fact that most whites can afford to drink in their own neighborhoods; AND if ONE illegal alien is found to be guiltier by count, he concedes not only his own license, but his passport.
That is such crap to assume the guilty are not Anglos.
I have made a complaint with the ACLU and forwarded this article which absolutely is given credence by the publisher.

Most of the police are of Latino descent and I hope they find and interrogate you and your own DUI record.
SHAMEFUL. Both writer and editor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Commander McBragg
a resident of another community
on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:34 pm

It's that damned "Freedom of Speech" thing that some people make a big deal about. Write your congressperson, maybe we can get something done about this problem.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Rich -

The comment that offended you was actually pretty mild by blogging standards. I've seen far worse on this site!

C'mon, Rich. Please don't over react or threaten.


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Dec 31, 2009 at 11:52 am

Those 11-99 Club license plate frames run from a nominal contribution all the way to $25,000 for a "gold" frame.

The money goes to widows and family of CHP officers who die in the line of duty, I think.

I once asked a CHP officer at an auto show whether drivers with those frames on their vehicles received special treatment. He reacted with injured dignity, amazed that anyone could stoop so low as to expect such a thing.


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