Ventura – All those driving motor vehicles in the State of California do so with the understanding that driving is not an individual right under any legal provision, but is, rather, considered a “privilege” granted by the state.
There is no greater reminder of that distinction that the suspension of one’s driving privilege as the consequence of any number of motor vehicle violations, prominent among them driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
And when a driving privilege is suspended pursuant to a citation or guilty plea to a DUI charge, the intent of the suspension is to prevent a specific individual from driving for a court-mandated period of time.
Ignoring the terms of that suspension and continuing to drive during its imposition is itself an additional violation and one that is not taken lightly by either law enforcement or the judiciary.
That point was brought home on the morning of May 23rd on the grounds of the Ventura County Superior Court complex by Thousand Oaks Police Department deputies conducting a “court stakeout operation” as described by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Brad Clifton.
Operating with funding from “a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,” the TOPD officers went undercover throughout the morning to observe the conduct of individuals whose driving privilege had just been suspended or revoked by the court.
Once the judge ordered Oxnard residents Gari Omar Sanchez, 38, Juan DeJesus, 33, and Thousand Oaks residents Ryan Calvin Delung, 29, and Kasie Christina Smith, 33, not to drive under terms of their license suspensions, the undercover deputies observed each of the four as they “proceeded to get behind the wheel” of their vehicles and drive away.
Each of the four were stopped by waiting traffic deputies just a short distance from the courthouse and were issued additional citations requiring them to appear in court once again to face what will undoubtedly amount to more severe penalties than they’d ever anticipated.