Arrested for DUI at San Ysidro Border - do I Go To Chula Vista Court? By Daniel Smith

Even though every international border crossing, such as the Tijuana and San Diego Border is a federal reserve or reservation, most state crimes, such as DUI or drinking while driving are prosecuted in state courts. The closest California state court to the border is Chula Vista. The typical scenario is that a driver will talk to a customs or border patrol officer at the crossing while declaring their citizenship and the officer smells alcohol and observes bloodshot and watery eyes together with slurred speech and will refer that driver to secondary inspection. The Customs agent will usually call the CHP or local San Diego Police Department to "investigate" and a DUI arrest results. Technically there is jurisdiction in Federal Court, like there is for border busts involving the importation of drugs, however, there is "concurrent" jurisdiction allowing the state court and district attorney to prosecute the case. So if you have any question regarding whether your rights were violated at the border, San Diego Defenders can be reached at (619) 258-8888 24 hrs a day there will be an actual attorney to speak to about your case.