Robert writes to say that his neighbor regularly drives drunk and asks what he can do about it. The answer involves stepping forward.

“I’ve seen him swerving and coming over blind sections in the wrong lane,” Robert writes. “So far I have not been able to call the police before he parks at his house. When I do call 911, they tell me that there’s not much they can do if he isn’t in the vehicle anymore. “Yesterday it was so bad, he could have easily killed a bicyclist or pedestrian. Is there anything I can do?”

If Robert lives in Sonoma County, CHP Officer Jonathan Sloat recommends offering to make a citizens arrest.

“If this person is in our jurisdiction and calling 911, they should give all of the pertinent information and inform the dispatcher that they will perform a citizens arrest once an officer arrives on scene,” Sloat said. “This allows the officer to detain the offender and have them perform sobriety tests.

“However, it also means that the witness will be required to attend court proceedings to testify to his observations, otherwise the case could be dropped.”


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