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Two bars, illegals driving & Manteca DUI checkpoints

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POSTED August 29, 2010 2:31 a.m.
Call it the tale of two bars.

Obviously having a Manteca Police driving under the influence checkpoint near you if you serve liquor for a living isn’t good for business.

The Rusty Hook happens to be near one of the police department’s favorite spots on East Yosemite Avenue to nab unlicensed drivers as well as those who imbibe too much and then drive. They opted a few weeks ago to simply close instead of trying to stay open during a checkpoint.

On Saturday night they took a different tack. They hired a singer and advertised the fact they were celebrating “in honor of our eighth DUI checkpoint in eight months.” They also offered to pay for half of the local cab fare home for those who brought in a copy of an ad that ran in the Manteca Bulletin.

Regardless of what you may think about drinking, you’ve got to give the Rusty Hook owners credit for being responsible and innovative.

The same can’t be said for Leon’s in the 200 block of West Yosemite Avenue.

During a recent DUI checkpoint, individuals who said they were hired by Leon’s were holding signs ahead of the checkpoint warning drivers. They went as far as repeatedly hitting the crosswalk buttons to turn signals to red so they could get the attention of motorists. At one point officers said a man who said he was from Leon’s was complaining to them the checkpoint was hurting his business long term because many of his customers were illegals who were driving without licenses.

In reality the police catch many more unlicensed drivers than they do those driving under the influence at checkpoints.

And if you have ever been hit by an unlicensed driver the DUI checkpoints are a good thing. Statistics clearly show that unlicensed drivers cause more accidents as a group for the very reason that they had their licenses suspended - horrifically irresponsible driving. They also tend not to have insurance which means when they hit you it costs you even more due to the cost of damages caused by uninsured motorists being picked up by all responsible drivers.

Manteca Police impounds vehicles of unlicensed drivers. It is something that not all jurisdictions do. As a result, drivers have to wait 30 days to get their vehicles back. It is usually at a cost in excess of $1,000 to the tow and impound company on top of what they pay in fines.

Honest and responsible Californians should be outraged at how many unlicensed drivers on the road are illegals. The answer is not to license them. The answer is to turn them over to immigration authorities if they are so bold to drive a vehicle illegally on California streets when they are in the country illegally.

Of course, pointing this out means defenders of illegal behavior by illegal immigrants can then call you a racist. That happened to me three years ago when I spent 30 minutes at a DUI checkpoint near the Rusty Hook and then wrote a column. Not one of the five drivers they impounded vehicles from in that short period of time was under the influence. They all were driving without licenses. Four of the five were illegals.

The person who happened to call me a racist sent me an e-mail saying so from her work computer which happened to be at the Modesto office of the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is little wonder why laws aren’t being enforced when people who are paid to enforce them even as bureaucrats use taxpayer time and equipment to slam people who simply want the state laws followed that they were hired to help enforce.

Giving illegals the right to get drivers licenses solves nothing except moves them one step closer to legitimacy and makes their movements even bolder. It is doubtful many would be able to afford insurance let alone carry it. Insurance is supposed to be a requirement for the privilege of being given a license to operate a vehicle in California.

There should not be two sets of rules - one for law abiding residents and one for those who chose not to follow the law for whatever reason.

Maybe the time has come to include immigration authorities with the next DUI checkpoint in Manteca especially if it is near drinking establishments frequented by those who are illegally in this country who then opt to boldly drive illegally to a bar.
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