California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over all state highways and is responsible for a large portion of DUI arrests.

Usually when we talk about DUI arrests, we picture the local police or sheriff carrying them out. However, many DUIs aren’t brought by local authorities at all, but by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). This organization has statewide authority to patrol the roads and often helps coordinate large scale DUI crackdowns with local law enforcement.

The CHP also acts as the state police force. The terms State Troopers and California State Police both refer to the CHP.

CHP’s Jurisdiction

The CHP is tasked with patrolling the entire state highway system. Strictly speaking this refers to all numbered highways, but in practice it means they have the authority to conduct traffic stops and arrests anywhere in the state. The troopers tend to focus their patrols on freeways and numbered highways.

If you or a loved one are arrested by CHP, you will be booked at the nearest county jail facility. In the Los Angeles area, this often means the local Sheriff’s station. Once you are processed your charge will be handled by the local court in the area where you were arrested.

CHP and DUI

Because state troopers can cross municipal and county lines, they are often a coordinating force behind large scale DUI enforcement. For example, when law enforcement plan multiple DUI checkpoints in the same area, CHP will often help. This means you can see local police, county sheriffs, and state troopers all working together at the same roadblock. CHP will also lend patrol cars to saturation efforts in some cases.

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