Press Releases

Thermal Station

Posted on: March 29, 2021

Driving Under the Influence Driver License Checkpoint

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RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Driving Under the Influence Driver License Checkpoint
Station Area:Coachella
Written Date:March 29, 2021Time:10:00 AM
Incident Date:April 16, 2021Time:7:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Incident Location:City of Coachella
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Mariano Matos III
File Number(s):N/A


Update:

On April 16, 2021, Thermal Station deputies conducted a Driving Under the Influence / Driver’s License Checkpoint at Cesar Chavez and 4th Street within the city of Coachella, between the hours of 8:00 pm and 2:00 am. The checkpoint yielded the following:

  • 534 cars screened.
  • 15 citations for unlicensed drivers.
  • 3 warrant arrests.
  • 3 driving under the influence arrests.

The following subjects were arrested during the Check point:

  • Ronald Lerma, 50 of Coachella, for four narcotic warrants
  • Refrigo Hernandez, 44 of Mexico, for DUI
  • Jose Vega, 23 of Mexico, for DUI
  • Rodrigo Vargas, 20 of Indio, for DUI
  • Jesus Maldonado, 47 of Mecca, for a DUI warrant
  • Brianna Nava, 41 of Mecca, for a DUI warrant

Details:

Coachella, Calif. – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Driver’s License Checkpoint on April 16, 2021, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. 

DUI Checkpoints like this one are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment, with officers checking drivers for proper licensing.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reminds drivers that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.” If you take prescription drugs, particularly those with a driving or operating machinery warning on the label, you might be impaired enough to get a DUI. Marijuana can also be impairing, especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs, and can result in a DUI.

In 2017, 1,120 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes on California roads. Last year, Riverside County deputies assigned to the City of Coachella investigated numerous DUI collisions some of which have resulted in injuries.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department offers these reminders to ensure you have a safe night of fun that doesn’t involve a DUI:

  • Always use a designated sober driver – a friend who is not drinking, ride-share, cab or public transportation – to get home.
  • See someone who is clearly impaired try and drive? Take the keys and help them make other arrangements to find a sober way home.
  • Report drunk drivers – Call 911.
  • Hosting a party? Offer nonalcoholic drinks. Monitor who are drinking and how they are getting home.

Getting home safely is cheap, but getting a DUI is not! Drivers caught driving impaired and charged with DUI can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to be upwards of $13,500. This includes fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses not to mention possible jail time.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.


DUI Go Safely DUI Doesn't Just Mean BoozeOTS Traffic Safety

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