South San Francisco, CA July 27, 2016 Submitted by SSFPD
On 07-08-16, an alert South San Francisco Police Officer was on patrol when he recognized a driver on Gellert Boulevard at Westborough Boulevard as someone who is on the Police Department’s “DUI Hot List”. The officer stopped the driver, 24 year old Michael A. Hernandez of South San Francisco, for driving with a suspended driver’s license. Hernandez has three prior DUI convictions and multiple driver license suspensions he has received within the last three years. Hernandez was arrested for driving with a suspended license and he was released upon a notice to appear. Hernandez also faces charges for driving a vehicle that was not equipped with a DMV and court ordered ignition interlock device. Hernandez’ vehicle was towed, impounded for 30 days, and is potentially subject to permanent forfeiture.
The South San Francisco Police Department proactively works with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Office of Traffic Safety on the DUI Hot List program. This is a program that identifies repeat DUI offenders who have suspended drivers licenses. All offenders on the list are provided a notice about their convictions, told about the Hot List program, and are warned not to drive. The South San Francisco Police Departmentregularly disseminates a list along with photographs of known DUI Hot List offenders to all traffic and patrol officers. Throughout the year, specially-trained officers also conduct undercover surveillance operations on Hot List offenders and watch their homes or workplace. Offenders caught driving are subject to immediate arrest for driving on a suspended license and are subject to additional DMV sanctions and criminal charges.
Studies and research conducted by the DMV shows a staggering 75% of drivers who are convicted of DUI continue to drive despite having their drivers licenses suspended or revoked . Repeat DUI offenders in California are involved in 24% of fatal DUI crashes and 63% of injury DUI crashes. These statistics show why programs like the DUI Hot List are important in our efforts to reduce these numbers.
Funding for surveillance operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.