Patrol FAQ

Q: What can I do about my noisy neighbors?

A: A noisy neighbor may create a disturbance by having a loud television, stereo, or radio. These types of complaints are best handled by a local police station because the loud noise is intermittent, occasional, or spontaneous. A loud party is also best resolved by the officers assigned to the area.

Q: What is the law regarding loud vehicle alarms?

A: The law regarding loud vehicle theft alarm systems is contained in the California Vehicle Code, Section 22651.5, which states that a police officer may, upon complaint, remove a vehicle if the vehicle theft alarm system has been activated for 20 minutes upon the officer’s arrival, and the alarm has not silenced within that time. The local patrol division would be the ones to handle this type of request for service.

Q: What should I do if I witness a crime in progress?

A: Be as observant as possible and make mental notes of the following:
- What is actually happening?
- Is anyone being injured or has anyone been injured?
- Are there any weapons involved?
- The location where the crime is occurring.
- What is the address or the name of the cross-streets?
- Has the person(s) who committed the crime left the scene?
- Was the person(s) on foot or in a vehicle? What direction did the person(s) leave?
- What is a description of the vehicle(s)?
- Who is involved?
- The number of people involved.
- Their names if you know them.
- Any relevant clothing descriptions.
- Any distinctive physical characteristics such as height, weight, race, beards, scars etc.

Q: The police are stopping me, what do I do next?

A: First of all, you’re supposed to pull over to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of an intersection, and stop. Some people get confused and stop in the lane of traffic, creating a very dangerous situation. Others make left turns into private driveways or businesses, still others continue on their way, thinking the sirens aren’t for them.

None of those last few examples are of course the correct thing to do, and could lead to additional violations being charged.

After you’re stopped, the Officer will make contact with you, during which time you should be advised why you are being stopped. You are required to furnish the Officer with your driver’s license 12951(a) and (section 12951(b) California Vehicle Code [CVC]) and the vehicle’s registration card, or a copy of that document. You should NEVER keep your Certificate of Title in your car. That is your proof of ownership of the vehicle. It doesn’t validate your registration, and if someone else gets hold of it, they could try and claim the car as theirs.

You could be warned for the offense(s) you committed, or issued a citation. If you are issued a citation, the Officer will explain what you’re being cited for and then ask you to sign the citation. The citation will have all of the pertinent information on it, including: the date and time of the violation, your name, the offense(s) you’re being cited for, the location of the offense(s), the Officer’s name, and applicable court dates and information. Signing the citation ISN’T AN ADMISSION OF GUILT, MERELY A PROMISE TO APPEAR. If you refuse to sign the citation, you can be arrested 40302(b) CVC and your car could be towed (22651(h)(1) CVC).

Q: What happens when I am stopped for driving while under the influence?

A: If you have been stopped and are suspected of driving while under the influence, the officer will be looking for objective symptoms of intoxication. Some of these objective symptoms are the odor of an alcoholic beverage, bloodshot or watery eyes, slurred speech or unsteady balance.

If the officer notices these objective symptoms, the officer will then administer field sobriety tests. The officer will be looking at basic coordination, balance, and concentration. A Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test may also be administered in the field.

If you have passed the field sobriety tests, the officer at his/her discretion can call a taxi, have a friend to drive you home, or let you drive away.

Q: What happens if I have been arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol?

A: If you have been arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, you are required by California State Law to submit to a chemical test to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood (implied consent law – 23157 CVC (23157 (a) (1)). The three tests that are offered are:
- Blood,
- Urine or
- Breath

One or more of these tests may not be available due to special circumstances (i.e. injury to driver, etc.).

If you select a blood test a nurse or phlebotomist will draw a blood sample and the sample will be analyzed at a lab on a later date. If you select a urine test you will be required to give two samples in a 20-minute period. The 1st sample is used to void the bladder and it is discarded. After a period of 20 minutes, a 2nd sample will be collected and analyzed for alcohol at a later date. If you select a breath test, you will be required to blow into a Breathalyzer machine twice to complete the test. The results of this test are available immediately. Should you refuse or fail to complete a test, your privilege to drive will be automatically be suspended for one (1) year by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

After the testing, if your test results show you have a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, your license will be taken away on the spot. An Administrative “PER SE” (in and of itself) order of suspension 13353.2 CVC (13353.2 (a)) is given. This is a driver’s license suspension, which is issued by the officer at the time of arrest. (You will be given a 30-day temporary driving permit to allow for review and appeal of your case to the DMV). The suspension becomes effective 30 days after it is issued.

Upon completion of implied consent, you will either be cited (given a court date) and released to a detox facility (rehabilitation facility) or taken to the county jail.

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