RIPON - Ripon Police officers and support staff were well fed as they conducted a DUI and drivers license check point on North Jack Tone Road Saturday night.
While officers from Ripon, Manteca and Tracy were busy citing motorists for suspended licenses and out of date registrations early-on in the evening, police volunteer VIPS member Rich Searcy had the barbecue fired up on the center divider of the roadway turning out hamburgers and hot dogs for the force.
Yet another VIPS member and Ripon minister, Don Rowe, provided a large pot of hot, homemade “Check Point Chili” for all comers in a nearby walk-in police trailer that also offered sodas and coffee on the extremely cold night. Several butane heaters dotted strategic spots on the roadway near the officers on the cone line.
As the officers working the line asked drivers for their licenses, police VIPS like Nancy Stokke and Don Rowe acted as runners taking the IDs to two nearby police cars where city IT workers Dan Brannon and Jacob Glasgow would run them through the dispatcher at the police department.
One motorist to be cited for invalid registration had an invalid orange license plate tag on the rear of her car that had to be removed by officers.
Those motorists with drivers licenses that had been suspended with a record they had been given notice of the suspension had their vehicles towed. Those with suspensions where there was no proof that they had been served with a notice from DMV were also subject to being towed but without the usual 30-day hold in the tow yard. Those drivers without a license were given the option of returning with a licensed driver by the end of the check point. If they didn’t return at that time, their vehicle would be towed, police said.
Acting check point sergeant Steve Meece was happy there wasn’t one DUI arrest during the seven-hour assignment. The few they noticed who had probably been drinking had a designated driver, he said.
Meece said there were 347 motorists who had been screened driving into the DUI and drivers license cone lane. Four vehicles had to be towed with five drivers being cited for no license and three others for invalid or no registrations on their vehicles.
Officers arrested one man on a felony drug warrant.