The San Ysidro border crossing between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California is one of the busiest border crossings in the world. Because of that and the fact that many people go to Tijuana to drink mean that there are many DUI arrests at or near the border. When some people are arrested, they aren’t even sure what country they are in.
First of all, if you are coming North from Tijuana and are stopped by local police or Customs and Border Protection agents from the United States, chances are you are in the United States. Most people think the border between out two countries is where the building you drive under is and/or where the booths are located. In fact, the border is about 100 yards south of that and is marked by a line painted on the ground across the roadway. There are times when police or Federal agents from the U.S. wander too far south into Mexico. If they do, they have no law enforcement authority.
Something else that some people wonder about is where they were drinking. Even if you did all your drinking in Tijuana, if you drive into the United States, you can be arrested here for DUI. While there is a lot of talk about drinking and driving, the only crime comes from the driving part.
If you get arrested coming from Tijuana across the San Ysidro border crossing into San Diego, you definitely need an American DUI lawyer because the case is going to be at the South Bay courthouse in Chula Vista. Here at San Diego Defenders, we have an enormous amount of experience dealing with DUI’s from the border. There are a lot of legal and other issues that come up when someone is stopped at the border for a DUI.
- Were you in the United States yet?
- Did the border guard have enough reason to detain me?
- What kind of training does the border guard have?
- Can they make me wait for hours for a regular cop to show up to arrest me?
- Are my rights the same at the border as they are everywhere else?
- Can my case be dismissed if my rights were violated?
There are different rules at the border concerning detentions, stops and searches. But, there also can be very effective defense strategies to fight border DUI’s. The important thing is having a border DUI lawyer who knows all the laws and best strategies to fight your case. You also want a lawyer who understands that the border agents are not very well trained to recognize or deal with DUI’s. because, that is not the main reason they are there.