I'm not really sure what your question is. 14601.2 is treated "harshly" because the legislature back in 1994 enacted the Safe Streets Act (14607.4 VC) and decided to crack down on unlicensed, suspended and revoked drivers who continue to drive despite his/her deficient license status.
There's the "common sense" notion that once a person is caught driving DUI, he or she is more likely to do so in the future (aka "once a drunk always a drunk.") So, they passed laws designed to 'really send a message.' Studies and statistics show that the "common sense" notion isn't really valid and is not supported by the data.
Suspended and revoked licenses are treated harsher than "never been licensed" because prior efforts to get these types of drivers to finish their DUI classes or comply with DMV/Court directives was proving ineffective. So, the legislature enacted laws to really crack down on these types of drivers. However, the legislature left a (some say unintended) "hole" in the law with regard to 12500 VC drivers. They do not suffer automatic suspensions and thus cannot be charged with the 14601 categories absent something more. Efforts to patch this hole have failed repeatedly.
12500 drivers can be arrested and booked. (True, it doesn't happen often.) Also, vehicles driven by a 12500 driver can be seized and either stored or impounded. (There is a difference between those two under the law.) And, yes, there are new rules regarding 12500 only drivers at DUI checkpoints which tend to mitigate against storage of the vehicle. So, your impression of inequitable treatment is not without basis or merit. But, again, what the legislature wanted to do was "send a message" to those who had suffered DUI convictions in order to increase compliance with DMV and Court directives.
As for the "policy" the arresting officer is referencing: I am not aware of what policy he/she is referring to.
It's not double jeopardy because the 14601.2 is a new offense; separate and distinct from your DUI in '05. Yes, it is related to your prior and thus seems like you are receiving a "continuing punishment" (which in some sense you are), but it does not legally constitute double jeopardy.
You should consult with some local attorneys and get their take on what can be done for you. A '05 prior is pretty old, but, of course, the prosecution is going to allege you've been driving around 14601.2 for 8 years and only just now got caught. (Which can also be spun to say, "yes, and for 8 years he didn't even have a traffic infraction - so why are we so hell bent on throwing the book at this guy?")
It sounds like you have been driving on a suspended license since 2005 from your DUI back then. If that is correct, I can understand the police officer's sense of seriousness.
Being booked and released certainly can be aggravating, but I see no issue besides this inconvenience.
Law enforcement certainly has the right to book someone for a misdemeanor.
You are correct a 14601.2 has 10 days mandatory jail time which is more than the DUI that suspended your license. The concept is that you are a danger to the community if you drive on a suspended license due to a previous DUI and do not take care of what you are supposed to.
Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.
Yes, courts do treat 14601.2's harshly. Is your license is still suspended because you didn't complete the alcohol program? If so, you may have a probation violation issue based on the DUI and non-compliance with the terms of your probation.
What were you initially pulled over for? In short, you should speak to an Attorney about your situation in more detail. Happy to speak to you about it if you would like.
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